Franklin's Gull

Leucophaeus pipixcan

Order

CHARADRIIFORMES

Family

Gulls, Terns, Skimmers (Laridae)

Code 4

FRGU

Code 6

LARPIP

ITIS

ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Franklin's Gull is currently evaluated as Least Concern. The previous rating for Franklin's Gull was Lower Risk. This bird is known to breed in Canada and the United States. It migrates to Central America and South America for the winter. It is considered to be common in Chile and Ecuador. The population is estimated at around 1.5 million individual birds. There has been a decline at a wildlife refuge in Oklahoma, but this decline does not appear to have been repeated elsewhere and consequently the bird is not thought to be in immediate danger.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

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PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

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BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

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SUMMARY

Overview

Franklin's Gull: This medium-sized gull has a gray back and white underparts. It has a black head, white eye ring, orange bill with a black spot near the tip, and red-orange legs. The wings are short with white spotted black tips. It has a strong direct flight with deep wing beats. It feeds mostly on terrestrial and aquatic insects. The sexes are similar; males are slightly larger.

 

Range and Habitat

Franklin's Gull: This species breeds on marshes, sloughs, and wetlands around lakes from northern Alberta east to Manitoba and south from northern Utah to Minnesota. It also breeds in scattered marshes in the western states. They migrate to the southeast and winter mainly along west coast of South America.

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Franklin's Gull SONGS AND CALLS

Franklin's Gull A1

Nasal calls from a large flock.

Franklin's Gull C1

Calls given in flight.

Similar Sounding


Voice Text

"Cuk-cuk-cuk"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • The Franklin's Gull is unique among gulls in having two complete molts each year rather than one. The gulls need new, strong feathers in order to meet the demands of their 5000 mile migrations.
  • Their floating nest gradually sinks as the material below the water surface decays, and it requires continual maintenance. Both parents add new nest material daily until one or two weeks before departing the colony. Older chicks also add nest material from the immediate vicinity of the nest.
  • A group of gulls has many collective nouns, including a "flotilla", "gullery", "screech", "scavenging", and "squabble" of gulls.
  • This bird was named after the Arctic explorer Sir John Franklin and was originally named Franklin's Rosy Gull for its rosy-colored breast and belly. Early settlers named it the Prairie Dove.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP NORTH AMERICA

About this North America Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across North America.

RANGE MAP HAWAII

About this Hawaii Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across the Hawaiian island.

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Artist

Irina Rud-Volga

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

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BACKYARD BIRDING

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BIRDS AND BIRDING

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UnderpartsX

Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

Eye ringX
The circle around the eye formed of feathers that are a different color from the rest of the face.
Lower mandibleX
The lower part of the bill.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X