Bonaparte’s Gull

Larus philadelphia

This small, dainty hooded gull has been recorded in the Pribilofs only twice. The first sighting occurred in mid June of 1995, and the second in early June of 2002. Common in interior Alaska during the summer and highly migratory this species has good potential to appear in the Pribilofs again. Some care must be taken to separate this species from the other hooded gulls that have shown up on the island, notably Black-headed Gull, and Sabine’s Gull, both of which regularly occur in the Pribilofs. Distinctive features that separate Bonaparte’s Gull from Black-headed Gull are the very small size, thin, all-dark bill, lack of an eyering, white undersides to the primary feathers and presence of a full black hood. Sabine’s Gulls are very distinctive in flight, but on the ground look for their yellow bill tip, red eye-orbit, darker gray back and large white primary tips to separate this species from Bonaparte’s Gull.