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Bird Sightings : Hebrides : Bonaparte's Gull

Hebrides bird sightings - Bonaparte's Gull
Adult Bonaparte's Gull in winter plumage

Bonaparte's Gull

Larus ridibundus

Photograph © Terry Fountain
Ardivachar - South Uist - Outer Hebrides (Western Isles)
18th January, 2008


Bonaparte's Gull Photographs

Bonaparte's Gull
Bonaparte's Gull
Bonaparte's Gull
Bonaparte's Gull
Bonaparte's Gull
Bonaparte's Gull
Bonaparte's Gull
Bonaparte's Gull
Bonaparte's Gull
with Common Gull
Bonaparte's Gull
with Black-headed Gull

  • Bonaparte’s Gull
  • Larus philadelphia
  • UK ( in any month), accidental, 3 annual records BTO
  • WI: Very rare visitor (five or less records)
  • Breeds: Ground-nesting or in conifers (only tree-nesting gull). Prefers lakes, marsh or bogland in coniferous woodland or forest. N North America (Alaska), Canada
  • Winters: Migrates to coastal waters: south to Mexico. (Vagrant to Western Europe), mixes with black-headed gulls
  • Small gull (31-34cm. Similar but smaller than Black-headed Gull. Winter head white & adult has large ear-spot. Summer adult has black hood (not brown). Short, thin & black or mainly black bill. Body mostly white with pale grey upperwings & back (extending to hind-neck in winter). Underwing pale. Wing tips dark. Short pinkish legs (orange in summer). 1st summer bird similar to first winter, but paler. Less than 5% get a dark hood in their 1st summer. Graceful tern-like flight.
  • Diet: (Foraging in flight, wading, swimming or on ground). fish, crustaceans insects, wading. Rarely scavenges.

The bird was named after Prince Charles Lucien Bonaparte, he was a zoologist and Napoleon's nephew.

BBRC UK Bonaparte's Gull records 2000 - 2006:
10, 1, 4, 1, 5, 4, 9.



Bonaparte's Gull records in the Western Isles

Very rare visitor (five or less records)
Source: Outer Hebrides Bird Report (2001)


The chart below shows how abundant the Bonaparte's Gull is during a month or when you are more likely to see it.
















(Source: Outer Hebrides Birds Checklist)




Other local bird photographs

Sources of information for the bird sightings section

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