Monday, August 20, 2012

Bonaparte's vs Franklin's Gull: Answer

Last week, I posted a photo of a gull to help our readers learn how to identify Bonaparte's and Franklin's Gulls. The photo showed a bird in mid molt making the identification extremely tricky and it admittedly took me a long time in the field to figure out what this individual was. Here is the photo as a reminder of what we were looking at:

The Mystery Gull
The photo shows a gull with a with a thin black bill which is good for Bonaparte's Gull but it also has a partial  black hood which would tend to push us towards Franklin's Gull. When we start to look at the shape of this bird, we see that it appears thin and elegant. When you combine this with the red/pink legs, you should be able to come to the conclusion that this is a Bonaparte's Gull. A Franklin's Gull should always have black legs.

We hope everyone is enjoying our identification articles. Look for a fall warbler post from Eric coming soon!

-Rob

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