Bonaparte's Gull

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Bonaparte's Gull
 Photo: Gull
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Charadriiformes
Family:Laridae
Genus:Larus
Species:L. philadelphia
Binomial name
Larus philadelphia
(Ord, 1815)

The Bonaparte's Gull, Larus philadelphia, is a small gull.

Adults have a black hood and a short thin dark bill. The body is mainly white with pale grey back and upper wings. The underwing is pale and the wing tips are dark. They have orange legs. In winter, the head is white.

Their breeding habitat is near bogs or lakes in coniferous forest across western Canada and Alaska. They nest in conifers, sometimes on the ground.

They are migratory and most move east or west to coastal waters, also the Great Lakes. They are rare vagrants to western Europe, where they usually associate with the somewhat larger Black-headed Gulls.

These birds forage in flight or pick up objects while swimming or wading. They mainly eat insects, crustaceans and fish. Unlike some other gulls, this bird rarely scavenges.

It is graceful in flight, more like a tern. It was named after Prince Charles Lucien Bonaparte, a zoologist and nephew of Napoleon.

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