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Bird Sightings : Hebrides : Bonaparte's Gull

Hebrides bird sightings - Bonaparte's Gull
Adult Bonaparte's Gull (below) with Common Gull

Bonaparte's Gull

Larus ridibundus

Photograph © Martin Scott
Siadar - Isle of lewis - Outer Hebrides (Western Isles)
4th April, 2011

"Tristan found a Bonaparte’s Gull at Siadar today – that is the fourth on the island since I have been here, well over 7 years now, and this species is now annual in the Hebrides. It may well be the same individual that was seen on Tiree a couple of weeks ago. "

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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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