|Bonaparte's Gull, Wascana Lake, Regina, SK © SB|
Today, pictures of the smaller one, Bonaparte's Gull. (Pix to follow of Franklin's Gull.)
Bonaparte's Gull is a sleek bird with a black beak, black head and tail feathers, soft gray wings, bright white eye-rings — and, from what I saw on the lake, feathers that ruffle in the wind.
Bonaparte's Gull winters in the southern and coastal U.S. and the Caribbean, and spends its summer breeding season in Alaska and northern Canada.
It also — says All About Birds — has the unusual practice of nesting not on the ground, but in trees.
|Bonaparte's Gull, described as a small, delicate gull. © SB|
Audubon.org calls it the smallest gull usually seen in North America, and describes Bonaparte's as delicate, and tern-like in flight. (I'd like to say that I personally noticed both of these things... However, while I could see that it was smaller than the Franklin's Gulls and large Ring-billed Gulls also on the lake, it was a very long way out across the water...
As for the name, Aududon says Bonaparte's Gull honors French zoologist Charles Lucien Bonaparte, a distant cousin of Napoleon.
Location: Wascana Lake, Regina, Saskatchewan
Photo date: April 28, 2016.