Bird Sightings : Hebrides : Bonaparte's Gull
Adult Bonaparte's Gull (below) with Common Gull
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. "
Bonaparte's Gull Photographs
- 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