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Franklin's Gull
Franklin's Gull Brisbane98
Information
Range Canada and adjacent states of the northern United States. It is a migratory bird, wintering in Argentina, the Caribbean, Chile and Peru.
Scientific Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Charadriiformes
Family Laridae
Genus Leucophaeus
Species Leucophaeus pipixcan
Conservation Status
LCSpecies
Least Concern

The Franklin's gull (Leucophaeus pipixcan), is a species of gull.

Description

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 2002 (Smith 2002).

Behavior

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

Reproduction

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.

Naming

The gull was named after the Arctic explorer Sir John Franklin.

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