Meeting Richard Snell

Left to right: Jean Iron, Richard Snell, Ron Pittaway. We were excited to meet Richard Snell of Iceland Gull fame at the memorial service for Professor James D. Rising in Toronto on 23 March 2018. Richard was one of Jim's many students at the University of Toronto. Because we've read Richard's research on Iceland Gulls so many times and corresponded with him for over 20 years, we felt like we were long-time friends. Photo by Ross Harris.


Richard Snell studied Arctic gulls and he wrote the Birds of North America accounts of Iceland and Thayer's Gulls. He long ago advocated that Iceland and Thayer's were one species. The American Ornithological Society lumped Thayer's as a subspecies of Iceland Gull in 2017.

We are standing in front of a beautiful Group of Seven landscape painting by J.E.H. MacDonald: The Wild River 1919. This painting hangs in The Faculty Club at the University of Toronto.