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Bonaparte’s Gull

I went to Antelope Island last weekend hoping to see any new birds.  Unfortunately the frost of a couple weeks ago appears to have caused any stragglers to leave.  But that’s okay because thanks to a tip from one of my friends, I saw hundreds of Bonaparte’s Gulls beneath the bridge on the causeway to the island.



Did you know that they’re named after Napoleon’s nephew, who was a zoologist?  I figured they were named after Napoleon himself because they’re little birds and might have a Napoleon complex.  They certainly fight with each other.



This is their non-breeding garb.  During the breeding months their entire head is black.  Also, if you’re wondering how to tell them apart from a kittiwake, the kittiwake has a yellow beak and a black stripe (or sometimes gray) on the back of its neck.



They make an amazing amount of noise for such a little bird.  Look at the difference between the Bonaparte’s Gull and a California Gull.


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