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Laughing or Bonapartes Gulls

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Old Monday 29th February 2016, 02:16   #1
kingzig
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Laughing or Bonapartes Gulls

I've been seeing some Gulls in South Florida this month with Black heads and what look to be dark bills, which I would think would be a male breeding Bonaparte's gull but the guides say it is too early for breeding and Florida isn't a breeding ground for Bonapartes or Laughing gulls. Any ideas?
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Old Monday 29th February 2016, 02:49   #2
Tero
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There should not be any gulls or tens with completely black heads at this time. Both Franklins and Bonaparte's are seen in FL in winter, with less of the Franklins. Of those, the Franklins has more of the black in winter.
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Old Monday 29th February 2016, 11:34   #3
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Plenty of Laughing Gulls are getting black heads by late February in Florida and some are have complete hoods. The Bonaparte's I see are still in winter plumage, but I would suspect that some are getting black now. Franklin's Gull is rare here, especially in late winter/early Spring. Laughing Gulls commonly breed in Florida.

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Last edited by Kratter : Monday 29th February 2016 at 11:36.
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Old Monday 29th February 2016, 13:28   #4
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There's a huge lot of variation between individuals when 'hooded'-type gulls get their summer hoods. Over here, the first Black-headed Gulls start getting their dark hoods by the end of December, the last not until April or even May. Was looking through a flock today, and about 5% had full hoods, 30% partial hoods, and the rest still fully winter plumage.
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Old Monday 29th February 2016, 14:19   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nutcracker View Post
There's a huge lot of variation between individuals when 'hooded'-type gulls get their summer hoods. Over here, the first Black-headed Gulls start getting their dark hoods by the end of December, the last not until April or even May. Was looking through a flock today, and about 5% had full hoods, 30% partial hoods, and the rest still fully winter plumage.
Agree with this - we caught 150 BHG at our gull ringing (banding) session last Saturday and at least 15% had full summer hoods, but about 25% had no hint of head moult, with the rest in between.
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