The '''Franklin's Gull'(Leucophaeus pipixcan'') is a small gull. It breeds in central provinces of Canada and adjacent states of the northern USA. It is migratory, wintering in the Caribbean, Peru, Chile, and Argentina.
This species is easy to identify. The summer adult's body is white and its back and wings are much darker grey than all other gulls of similar size except the larger Laughing Gull. The wings have black tips with an adjacent white band. The bill and legs are red. The black hood of the breeding adult is mostly lost in winter.
Young birds are similar to the adult but have less developed hoods and lack the white wing band. They take three years to reach maturity.
Franklin's Gulls breed in colonies near prairie lakes. The nest is constructed on the ground, or sometimes floating. The 2 or 3 eggs are incubated for about three weeks.
They are omnivores like most gulls, and they will scavenge as well as seeking suitable small prey.
This bird was named after the Arctic explorer Sir John Franklin.
Although Franklin's Gull is uncommon on the coasts of North America, it occurs as a rare vagrant to northwest Europe, south and west Africa, Australia and Japan, with a single record from Eilat, Israel in 2002 (Smith 2002).
Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern
Smith, James (2002) '''A Franklin's Gull at Eilat - new to Israel and the Middle East'Birding World Vol 16. No. 7 p. 281 (illustrated with a colour photograph of the bird alongside two Slender-billed Gulls)
Steve N.G. Howell & Jon Dunn: Gulls of the Americas'', 516 pages : Houghton Mifflin Co., 2007. ISBN 978-0-618-72641-7
Franklin's Gull videos on the Internet Bird Collection
Franklin's Gull Species Account - Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Franklin's Gull Information and Photos - South Dakota Birds and Birding
Franklin's Gull - Larus pipixcan - USGS Patuxent Bird Identification InfoCenter
Stamps (for Marshall Islands) with Americas' RangeMap
Franklin's Gull photo gallery VIREO Photo-High Res
Franklin's Gull article photo 1 of 3 write-up and photos
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Franklin's Gull