Bonaparte’s Gull

Bonaparte’s Gull
-Chroicocephalus (formerly Larus) philadelphia-

Formerly known as Larus philadelphia, the Bonaparte's Gull was moved to the genus Chroicocephalus by the American Ornithologists' Union in July, 2008. Named after Prince Charles Lucien Bonaparte, a zoologist and nephew of Napoleon.

Smallest of North American gulls. A migratory species, present in Texas coastal region November through April. Breeds on northern summer range. Winter plumage is white head with a conspicuous round black spot behind the eye. Adult flashes a white wedge on leading edge of wing. Breeding plumage includes slate black head, black bill, grey mantle and red legs. Feeds mainly on insects, small crustaceans, and small fish.

There are seven Bonaparte's gulls in winter plumage in the accompany photo, BUT, in the center of the image is an even smaller European gull that has been documented only approximately 25 times here in Texas. This wayward seabird is only 11" tall and a long, long way from home.

Length: 13.5 inches
Wingspan: 33 inches