Range
Bonaparte's Gull breeds from western and central Alaska east to James Bay and south to south-central British Columbia, central Alberta, Saskatchewan, and central Ontario. Nonbreeding birds occur in summer along the Pacific coast south to California, the Atlantic coast south to New England, and on the Great Lakes. Winters on the Pacific coast from southern British Columbia to Mexico and in the east from the Great Lakes south through the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico and from New England to Greater Antilles.

Status in British Columbia
On the coast, very abundant spring and autumn migrant, rare to uncommon in summer. In winter, casual on the northern mainland coast and rare on the west coast of Vancouver Island; rare to very common, at times very abundant, in the southern Strait of Georgia and Juan de Fuca Strait. In the interior, common to abundant spring and autumn migrant; accidental in winter. Common summer visitant to the central and northern interior, where it is a widespread breeder.
The Bonaparte's Gull breeds in the vicinity of lakes, ponds, muskegs, and alpine marshes in coniferous woodland from Read More
Range
Bonaparte's Gull breeds from western and central Alaska east to James Bay and south to south-central British Columbia, central Alberta, Saskatchewan, and central Ontario. Nonbreeding birds occur in summer along the Pacific coast south to California, the Atlantic coast south to New England, and on the Great Lakes. Winters on the Pacific coast from southern British Columbia to Mexico and in the east from the Great Lakes south through the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico and from New England to Greater Antilles.

Status in British Columbia
On the coast, very abundant spring and autumn migrant, rare to uncommon in summer. In winter, casual on the northern mainland coast and rare on the west coast of Vancouver Island; rare to very common, at times very abundant, in the southern Strait of Georgia and Juan de Fuca Strait. In the interior, common to abundant spring and autumn migrant; accidental in winter. Common summer visitant to the central and northern interior, where it is a widespread breeder.
The Bonaparte's Gull breeds in the vicinity of lakes, ponds, muskegs, and alpine marshes in coniferous woodland from 305 to 1,318 m elevation. It prefers small wooded islands for nesting. It nests singly or in loose colonies. The number of nesting birds in the province is not known. Nests were composed of small twigs, mosses, lichens, grasses, sedges, and other marsh vegetation. They were loose to compact structures. Clutch size ranged from 1 to 3 eggs with a majority having 3 eggs.

Copyright © 2003, Royal British Columbia Museum Corporation (RBCM). All rights reserved.

Bonaparte's Gull

Bonaparte's Gull (Larus Philadelphia)

The Royal British Columbia Museum
Canadian Heritage Information Network

Copyright © 2003, Royal British Columbia Museum Corporation (RBCM). All rights reserved.


Bonoparte’s Gull Bird Song

The Royal British Columbia Museum
Canadian Heritage Information Network

Copyright © 2003, Royal British Columbia Museum Corporation (RBCM). All rights reserved.


Sonogram

Sonogram of Bonoparte’s Gull Song

The Royal British Columbia Museum
Canadian Heritage Information Network

Copyright © 2003, Royal British Columbia Museum Corporation (RBCM). All rights reserved.


Tape Number: M6.029(08c)
Recording Remarks: Nagra, 15 ips
Length: 01:55
Location Description: Early
Location Name: Offshore waterfront
General Remarks: Feeding in water and diving in air over beach for termites - flying termites. In nice plumage, many of them. Others without the black on head - only the dot behind the eye always there. Background: glaucous winged gull, roar of water and shoreline, oystercatchers, boats, ducks.
Date: 1961/08/18
Recorder: Grace Bell
Tape Number: M6.029(08c)
Recording Remarks: Nagra, 15 ips
Length: 01:55
Location Description: Early
Location Name: Offshore waterfront
General Remarks: Feeding in water and diving in air over beach for termites - flying termites. In nice plumage, many of them. Others without the black on head - only the dot behind the eye always there. Background: glaucous winged gull, roar of water and shoreline, oystercatchers, boats, ducks.
Date: 1961/08/18
Recorder: Grace Bell

Copyright © 2003, Royal British Columbia Museum Corporation (RBCM). All rights reserved.

Range
Breeds from the southern Bering Sea and southern Alaska south along the Pacific coast to northwestern Washington; also on the Commander Islands. Winters throughout the breeding range south along the coast to southern Baja California; also on the Pacific coast of Asia south to Japan

Status in British Columbia
Along the coast, a very abundant spring and autumn migrant and very common to very abundant summer visitant. A very common to abundant winter visitant on the north coast, including the Queen Charlotte Islands; very abundant on the south coast including the Fraser Lowlands. In the central-southern interior, a very rare visitant; casual in northeastern British Columbia. Widespread breeder along the coast.

Breeding
The Glaucous-winged Gull breeds along inner and outer coastal waters from Race Rocks off southern Vancouver Island north to Zayas Island, including the Queen Charlotte Islands. It has also been found breeding on Fulmore Lake, a freshwater lake near Port Neville (Rodway In press). The Glaucous-winged Gull is primarily colonial but frequently nests singly. Preferred sites a Read More

Range
Breeds from the southern Bering Sea and southern Alaska south along the Pacific coast to northwestern Washington; also on the Commander Islands. Winters throughout the breeding range south along the coast to southern Baja California; also on the Pacific coast of Asia south to Japan

Status in British Columbia
Along the coast, a very abundant spring and autumn migrant and very common to very abundant summer visitant. A very common to abundant winter visitant on the north coast, including the Queen Charlotte Islands; very abundant on the south coast including the Fraser Lowlands. In the central-southern interior, a very rare visitant; casual in northeastern British Columbia. Widespread breeder along the coast.

Breeding
The Glaucous-winged Gull breeds along inner and outer coastal waters from Race Rocks off southern Vancouver Island north to Zayas Island, including the Queen Charlotte Islands. It has also been found breeding on Fulmore Lake, a freshwater lake near Port Neville (Rodway In press). The Glaucous-winged Gull is primarily colonial but frequently nests singly. Preferred sites are on small, offshore islands, less than 25 m high and ranging in size from 2 to 10 ha. Colony sites are usually treeless, often bare, or with large patches of grasses, herbs, or shrubs. During the past 2 decades an increasing and expanding Glaucous-winged Gull population has forced gulls to colonize new habitats, often near urban environments. During the past 50 years, the Glaucous-winged Gull population in British Columbia has increased about 3.5 times. The total breeding population in British Columbia, as of 1987, is estimated at 25,000 pairs.
The centre of the breeding population is situated in the vicinity of Vancouver Island where 56% of all colonies are located.
Clutch size ranged from 1 to 5 eggs, with a majority having 3 eggs.

Remarks
This species interbreeds with the Western Gull in Washington and British Columbia and with the Herring Gull in Alaska and British Columbia. This interbreeding creates a continuous gradation in primary feather pigmentation and abnormal plumages.


Copyright © 2003, Royal British Columbia Museum Corporation (RBCM). All rights reserved.

Tape Number: M6.030(17c)
Recording Remarks: 15 ips, Nagra IIIB, 40" Reflector
Length: 00:25
Location Description: not available
Location Name: Victoria, BC
General Remarks: Some high level calls and "comfy" sounds
Date: 1961/08--
Recorder: Grace Bell
Tape Number: M6.030(17c)
Recording Remarks: 15 ips, Nagra IIIB, 40" Reflector
Length: 00:25
Location Description: not available
Location Name: Victoria, BC
General Remarks: Some high level calls and "comfy" sounds
Date: 1961/08--
Recorder: Grace Bell

Copyright © 2003, Royal British Columbia Museum Corporation (RBCM). All rights reserved.

Learning Objectives

The learner will:

  • Become familiar with the appearance, song, ecology, and taxonomic groupings of Canadian sea bird species, with particular reference to British Columbia
  • Understand the importance of field notes in ecology, and be aware of typical information found in such notes

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