Return of Bird of the Week: Bonaparte’s Gull

Very interesting information found here!

Wickersham's Conscience

Bonaparte’s Gull, breeding plumage, Fairbanks, Alaska

Bonaparte’s Gull, named after ornithologist Charles Lucien Bonaparte, not the French emperor, is found across North America, from the northern edge of the boreal forest, where it breeds, to the Gulf of California and Gulf Coast, where it winters. In its leisurely migration, it is often seen across most areas in between. Despite that extensive range, there are no recognized subspecies.

Adult Bonaparte’s Gull, non-breeding plumage, Florida

With its black hood in breeding plumage, narrow white eye ring, jet black bill and orange-red legs, it’s not likely to be confused with any other species in North America. It’s behavior is also distinctive: a buoyant, tern-like flight, a bobbing behavior in the water where it frequently dips its bill and head into the water to forage.

Bonaparte’s Gull, breeding plumage, landing at Tangle Lakes

Bonaparte’s Gull is odd in that it is the only North…

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