Franklin's gull

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Franklin's gull
Franklin's Gull Brisbane98.jpg
Franklin's gull in Brisbane, Australia
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Charadriiformes
Family: Laridae
Genus: Leucophaeus
Species: L. pipixcan
Binomial name
Leucophaeus pipixcan
(Wagler, 1831, Mexico)

Larus pipixcan

The Franklin's gull (Leucophaeus pipixcan) is a small [2] gull.


It breeds in central provinces of Canada and adjacent states of the northern United States. It is a migratory bird, wintering in Argentina, the Caribbean, Chile and Peru.

The summer adult's body is white and its back and wings are much darker grey than all other gulls of similar size except the larger laughing gull. The wings have black tips with an adjacent white band. The bill and legs are red. The black hood of the breeding adult is mostly lost in winter.

Young birds are similar to the adult but have less developed hoods and lack the white wing band. They take three years to reach maturity.

Although the bird is uncommon on the coasts of North America, it occurs as a rare vagrant to northwest Europe, south and west Africa, Australia and Japan, with a single record from Eilat, Israel, in 2011 (Smith 2011).


They are omnivores like most gulls, and they will scavenge as well as seeking suitable small prey.


The birds breed in colonies near prairie lakes with the nest constructed on the ground, or sometimes floating. The two or three eggs are incubated for about three weeks.


The bird was named after the Arctic explorer Sir John Franklin, who led an 1823 expedition in which the first specimen of Franklin's gull was taken.[3]

Brisbane, Australia, June 1998 (53-second video)

See also[edit]

  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Larus pipixcan". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ 12.6–14.2 in 32–36 cm
  3. ^ Gochfeld, Burger (March 9, 2009). "Franklin's Gull". Franklin's Gull - Bird of North America Online. Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Retrieved October 10, 2014. 

List of birds of the United States


External links[edit]