• Franklin's Gull

    Common NameFranklin's Gull
    Scientific NameLeucophaeus pipixcan
    Type of ReportRare Species
    Date of Observation11/13/2015
    • Other Documentation of Observation
    • Other Documentation of Observation
    • Other Documentation of Observation
    Number Observed1
    Reporting Observer's NameLaura Gaudette
    Mailing AddressPO Box 597
    255 Westminster Rd.
    Putney, VT 05346
    United States
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    EmailEmail hidden; Javascript is required.
    Date Completed02/13/2017
    Names & Emails of Other Contributing Observers


    Latitude of Observation42.767257
    Longitude of Observation-72.517027
    Place NameMiller Farm
    Vermont eBird Checklist URLebird.org
    Time of Day04:08 PM
    Length of Time Observedabout 5 minutes based on time of photographs
    Maximum Estimated Distance from Bird (in feet)300 feet
    Minimum Estimated Distance from Bird (in feet)60 feet
    Noteworthy Weather Conditions


    Optical Equipment Used for Observation

    BINOCULARS: Nikon Monarch 8x42; CAMERA: Canon EOS 6D, LENS: Canon EF 100-400mm

    Observer’s Previous Acquaintance With This or Similar Species


    Description of Habitat

    Grassy field at dairy farm. Also present were Ring-billed Gull and Herring Gull

    Behaviors Observed

    Franklin's Gull (and other gulls) feeding in the short grass

    Description of Vocalizations

    none noted

    Verbal Narrative & Description of Observation

    Seeing a large (about 50) group of gulls in a grassy field, I scanned the group from my parked car to avoid flushing the birds. Ring-billed Gulls predominated with 2 Herring Gulls noted. I noticed a gull that was smaller than the Ring-billed Gulls and I immediately suspected Franklin's Gull based on having studied the field guide earlier in the day because of the many reports of this species throughout the East. I then focused on obtaining photographs. The whole group of gulls flushed a couple of times, returning to the field to feed again.

    Relative Size & Shape

    Significantly smaller than Ring-billed Gull


    Dark, partial hood; white forehead. Also noted at time was white broken eye ring

    Feet & Bill

    Bill and feet color not noted at the time due to distance from the bird

    Upper Back

    Not observed

    Lower Back & Rump

    Not observed


    Brownish coverts noted at time. White spots on primaries .

    Breast, Belly, Flanks, Under Tail Coverts

    no specific observations at time


    I noticed black terminal tail band

    IMPORTANT: What similar species were eliminated when making the identification and how was this bird different?

    My main differential was Laughing Gull. The relative smaller size in comparison with RBGU, the amount & pattern of head markings, and the white spots on wing tips pointed to Franklin's Gull. I did consult field guide (Sibley) immediately after observation and compared my photographs with field guides and online images once home.

    Other Notes & Comments

    Sex unknown; Based on terminal black tail band, and brown coverts I determined this was an immature bird

    This report was written from notes taken:Written from Memory

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