Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Bonaparte's Gull (Chroicocephalus philadelphia)

Latin Etymology: Chroicocephalus ("colour head") philadelphia ("Philadelphia")
Adult in transitional plumage of Bonaparte's Gull (Chroicocephalus philadelphia) at Oare Marshes, Kent - July 2018

Featured Subspecies: N/A
Weight: 210g  /  Length: 43-53cm  /  Wingspan: 76-84cm
NO UK STATUS IUCN Red List: Least Concern

The Bonaparte's Gull is a small gull species found primarily across North America, though it is a reasonably frequent vagrant to the UK.  Despite the obvious expectation, it is not named for Napoleon Bonaparte but rather his nephew, Charles Lucien Bonaparte a naturalist and ornithologist in his own right.  It is much more notably migratory than most UK species, breeding in the Northern parts of North America including Alaska and Canada and then moving down south to Winter.  This particular individual seems to have maintained this pattern - a single bird that has recurred year after year at Oare Marshes that I have never got to catching up with until now.

Related Species:
Order: Charadriiformes
Family: Laridae
Genus: Chroicocephalus
SUBSPECIES: none - monotypic 

 - Sighting Locations -
UNITED KINGDOM - A rare vagrant
 An annually recurring vagrant individual seen at Oare Marshes in July 2018.

Further Notes: BirdForum Opus, IUCN Red List, RSPB, Wikipedia, Xeno-canto

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