This bird is commonly seen along the Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair shoreline for most of the year. When the lakes freeze up in winter, this gull will disappear and also for short chunks of time during the breeding season. Look for these birds resting on the Tip of Point Pelee National Park, the beach at Hillman Marsh Conservation Area and on the rocks and docks at Wheatley Harbour. Large flocks frequently fly past Point Pelee National Park and Holiday Beach Conservation Area during spring and fall migration.
A small, graceful gull with bright white patches in its wings, the Bonaparte’s Gull winters near people, but breeds in the isolated taiga and boreal forest.
White triangle in outer part of wing.
Back pale gray.
Under parts white.
Head black during breeding.
Dark spot behind eyes in winter.
Juvenile with much brown on head, neck, and back, a dark bar across the wing, and a black tail tip. Immature similar to nonbreeding adult, but with brownish black bar across the base of the wing, much black in the outer wing, and a black band across the tip of the tail. In first breeding plumage the black head is partly mottled with white.
*Image and description were sourced from: allaboutbirds.org