Chroicocephalus philadelphia - (Ord, 1815)
Bonaparte's Gull
Synonym(s): Larus philadelphia (Ord, 1815)
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Larus philadelphia (Ord, 1815) (TSN 176839)
French Common Names: mouette de Bonaparte
Spanish Common Names: Gaviota de Bonaparte
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.106311
Element Code: ABNNM03050
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Birds - Other Birds
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Aves Charadriiformes Laridae Chroicocephalus
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: American Ornithologists' Union (AOU). 1998. Check-list of North American birds. Seventh edition. American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C. [as modified by subsequent supplements and corrections published in The Auk]. Also available online: http://www.aou.org/.
Concept Reference Code: B98AOU01NAUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Larus philadelphia
Taxonomic Comments: Formerly included in Larus but separated on the basis of genetic data (Pons et al., 2005) that indicate that the genus would be paraphyletic if the following species were included: C. philadelphia, C. cirrocephalus, and C. ridibundus (AOU, 2008).
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 07Apr2016
Global Status Last Changed: 27Nov1996
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by inspection
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Nation: United States
National Status: N5B,N5N (05Jan1997)
Nation: Canada
National Status: N5B,N3N,N5M (04Dec2017)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Alabama (S5N), Alaska (S5B), Arizona (S3S4M), Arkansas (S4N), California (SNRN), Colorado (SNA), Connecticut (SNA), Delaware (S4N), District of Columbia (S3N), Florida (SNRN), Georgia (S3), Idaho (S3M), Illinois (SNA), Indiana (SNA), Iowa (S4N), Kansas (S3N), Kentucky (SNA), Louisiana (S4N), Maine (S4N), Maryland (S2N), Massachusetts (S4N), Michigan (SNRN), Minnesota (SNRM), Mississippi (S4N), Missouri (SNA), Montana (SNA), Navajo Nation (S3M), Nebraska (SNRN), Nevada (S3M), New Hampshire (SNA), New Jersey (SNA), New Mexico (S4N), New York (SNRN), North Carolina (S5N), North Dakota (SNA), Ohio (SNA), Oklahoma (S2N), Oregon (SNA), Pennsylvania (S2N), Rhode Island (SNA), South Carolina (SNRN), South Dakota (SNA), Tennessee (S4N), Texas (S4), Utah (SNA), Vermont (SNA), Virginia (SNRN), Washington (S5N), West Virginia (SNA), Wisconsin (SNA), Wyoming (S5N)
Canada Alberta (S3B), British Columbia (S5?), Labrador (SNA), Manitoba (S5B), New Brunswick (S5M), Newfoundland Island (SNA), Northwest Territories (S4S5B), Nova Scotia (S5M), Nunavut (SUB,SUM), Ontario (S4B,S4N), Prince Edward Island (S5M), Quebec (S4), Saskatchewan (S4B,S4M), Yukon Territory (S4B)

Other Statuses

IUCN Red List Category: LC - Least concern

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: BREEDING: western and central Alaska, central Yukon, northwestern and central Mackenzie, and northern Manitoba south to base of Alaska Peninsula, south-coastal and (rarely) southeastern Alaska, southern British Columbia, southwestern Alberta, central Saskatchewan, southern Manitoba, and central Ontario. Nonbreeders occur in summer south along coast to California and New England, and in interior to Great Lakes. NON-BREEDING: from Washington south along coast to northwestern Mexico (southern Baja California, Sinaloa); Great Lakes; southeastern Canada south along coast to Florida, west to southern Texas and central Mexico; Bermuda, Bahamas, and Greater Antilles; occasional in Hawaii (AOU 1983, NGS 1983, Sibley and Monroe 1990).

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: BREEDING: western and central Alaska, central Yukon, northwestern and central Mackenzie, and northern Manitoba south to base of Alaska Peninsula, south-coastal and (rarely) southeastern Alaska, southern British Columbia, southwestern Alberta, central Saskatchewan, southern Manitoba, and central Ontario. Nonbreeders occur in summer south along coast to California and New England, and in interior to Great Lakes. NON-BREEDING: from Washington south along coast to northwestern Mexico (southern Baja California, Sinaloa); Great Lakes; southeastern Canada south along coast to Florida, west to southern Texas and central Mexico; Bermuda, Bahamas, and Greater Antilles; occasional in Hawaii (AOU 1983, NGS 1983, Sibley and Monroe 1990).

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
NOTE: The maps for birds represent the breeding status by state and province. In some jurisdictions, the subnational statuses for common species have not been assessed and the status is shown as not-assessed (SNR). In some jurisdictions, the subnational status refers to the status as a non-breeder; these errors will be corrected in future versions of these maps. A species is not shown in a jurisdiction if it is not known to breed in the jurisdiction or if it occurs only accidentally or casually in the jurisdiction. Thus, the species may occur in a jurisdiction as a seasonal non-breeding resident or as a migratory transient but this will not be indicated on these maps. See other maps on this web site that depict the Western Hemisphere ranges of these species at all seasons of the year.
Endemism: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AK, AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NN, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV, WY
Canada AB, BC, LB, MB, NB, NF, NS, NT, NU, ON, PE, QC, SK, YT

Range Map
Note: Range depicted for New World only. The scale of the maps may cause narrow coastal ranges or ranges on small islands not to appear. Not all vagrant or small disjunct occurrences are depicted. For migratory birds, some individuals occur outside of the passage migrant range depicted. For information on how to obtain shapefiles of species ranges see our Species Mapping pages at www.natureserve.org/conservation-tools/data-maps-tools.

Range Map Compilers: NatureServe, 2002; WILDSPACETM 2002


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
ID Fremont (16043), Jefferson (16051), Nez Perce (16069), Power (16077)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
17 Upper Henrys (17040202)+, Lake Walcott (17040209)+, Beaver-Camas (17040214)+, Clearwater (17060306)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Reproduction Comments: Breeding begins mid-June (Harrison 1978). Incubates 2-3, usually 3, eggs for 24 days (Terres 1980). Nestlings are semi-precocial and downy. Usually nests solitarily or in small groups (Terres 1980).
Ecology Comments: Nonbreeding: often seen in loose flocks; often associates with terns when feeding or resting.
Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: Y
Mobility and Migration Comments: Migrates most commonly through eastern North America from Mississippi Valley east to Appalachians (AOU 1983). In fall, uses 3 flyways: the Pacific, Mississippi, and Atlantic, with the majority (60%) following the Mississippi Flyway from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico, and the remainder of the population split between the two coasts (21% Atlantic, 19% Pacific) (Braune 1989). Main fall routes through Atlantic Flyway: Saguenay River-Upper Saint John River-St. Croix River-Quoddy region, southwestern Bay of Fundy; Lower Great Lakes-Mohawk River-Hudson River-Long Island, New York area; Lower Great Lakes-Delaware River-Delaware Bay/Chesapeake Bay (Braune 1989). By late July, flocks of breeding birds form on larger boreal lakes prior to fall migration (Johnson and Herter 1989). Fall migration tends to be more coastal than does spring migration.
Marine Habitat(s): Near shore, Pelagic
Estuarine Habitat(s): Bay/sound, Herbaceous wetland, Lagoon, River mouth/tidal river, Tidal flat/shore
Riverine Habitat(s): BIG RIVER, MEDIUM RIVER
Lacustrine Habitat(s): Deep water, Shallow water
Palustrine Habitat(s): Bog/fen, HERBACEOUS WETLAND, Riparian, TEMPORARY POOL
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Woodland - Conifer
Habitat Comments: NON-BREEDING: along seacoasts, bays and harbors, estuaries, mudflats, marshes, rivers, lakes, ponds, and flooded fields (AOU 1983). More pelagic than most gulls, often feeds offshore (Braune 1989). BREEDING: coniferous woodland near ponds and lakes. Often nests in trees in old bird's nest (AOU 1983).
Adult Food Habits: Invertivore, Piscivore
Immature Food Habits: Invertivore, Piscivore
Food Comments: Feeds primarily on insects and fishes in lakes and bays; also eats crustaceans and marine worms and scavenges (Bent 1921). July-December diet off New Brunswick: fishes, euphausiids, insects, polychaetes, amphipods; opportunistic feeder (Braune 1987). Young are fed insects gleaned from water surface or from water plants (Johnson and Herter 1989). Feeds on insects and marine invertebrates frequently in areas where prey concentrated by currents, waterfalls, glaciers, and other natural features (see Johnson and Herter 1989).
Length: 34 centimeters
Weight: 212 grams
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Group Name: Gulls and Terns

Use Class: Adult foraging area
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Applies to both adults and juveniles. Evidence of one or more individuals seeking food in suitable habitat. Evidence of prey capture is not a prerequisite, as importance of a given location for foraging may vary temporally with shifting prey.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Justification: Scientific basis for assigning foraging separation distances is weak because terns are widespread across the Massachusetts coast and highly mobile. Most gaps in foraging observations likely reflect lack of survey effort.
Date: 10Jan2017
Author: Mostello, C. S.

Use Class: Breeding
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Evidence of historical breeding, or current and likely recurring breeding, at a given location, minimally a reliable observation of one or more breeding pairs in appropriate habitat. Be cautious about creating EOs for observations that may represent single breeding events outside the normal breeding distribution.
Separation Barriers: None.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Justification: Occurrences include nesting areas and associated nesting-season foraging areas (regardless of how far apart they are), but separation distance pertains to nesting areas (breeding colonies). Thus different breeding occurrences may overlap if birds from different nesting areas forage in the same area. Separation distance is not intended to delineate demographically independent populations or metapopulations (such units would be quite large). Instead, separation distance is a compromise between the high mobility of these birds (see following) and the need for occurrences that are of practical size for conservation/management use.

California Gulls foraged an average of 17.4 kilometers from colony (Baird 1976); maximum foraging distances ranged from 32 to 61 kilometers (Rothweiler 1960, Baird 1976). Ring-billed Gulls foraged an average of 11 km from colony (Baird 1977). Least Terns foraged up to 3-12 kilometers from nests (summarized in Thompson et al. 1997). Forster's Terns has a reported feeding radius of 3.2 kilometers (Van Rossem 1932). Black Terns foraged up to 10 kilometers from nests, over continuous suitable but unoccupied habitat (M. A. Stern, pers. comm. 1998). Caspian terns in a colony at the mouth of the Columbia River: 90% of adults foraged within 21 kilometers (Collis et al. 1999).

Date: 21Jul2004
Author: Cannings, S., and G. Hammerson

Use Class: Migratory stopover
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Evidence of recurring presence of migrating flocks (including historical); and potential recurring presence at a given location, minimally a reliable observation of 50 birds in appropriate habitat. Occurrences should be locations where the species is resident for some time during the appropriate season; it is preferable to have observations documenting presence over at least 7 days annually. Be cautious about creating EOs for observations that may represent single events.
Separation Barriers: None.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Justification: Separation distance somewhat arbitrary; set such that occurrences are of managable size for conservation purposes. Occurrences are defined primarily on the basis of areas supporting concentrations of foraging birds, rather than on the basis of distinct populations.
Date: 26Apr2004

Use Class: Nonbreeding
Subtype(s): Foraging Concentration Area
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Evidence of recurring presence of wintering flocks (including historical); and potential recurring presence at a given location, minimally a reliable observation of 25 birds in appropriate habitat. Occurrences should be locations where the species is resident for some time during the appropriate season; it is preferable to have observations documenting presence over at least 20 days annually. Be cautious about creating EOs for observations that may represent single events.
Separation Barriers: None.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Justification: Separation distance somewhat arbitrary; set such that occurrences are of managable size for conservation purposes. Occurrences are defined primarily on the basis of areas supporting concentrations of foraging birds, rather than on the basis of distinct populations.
Date: 16Apr2002
Author: Cannings, S.
Notes: Includes all inland-nesting gulls and terns, in the genera LARUS, STERNA, and CHLIDONIAS.

Use Class: Staging
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Evidence of flocks resting, roosting, and/or feeding young at a given location prior to breeding or after breeding has been completed. Staging may occur near the breeding site, preceding or following major migratory movements such as oceanic crossings, or it may occur after individuals have departed on migration, but before they have arrived at their final destination (a "stopover"). Staging may occur at sites also used for breeding, but often does not. Staging habitat may be ephemeral. For Common/Roseate Terns in Massachusetts, a minimum of 100 individuals in appropriate habitat is used.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Justification: In Massachusetts, staging areas are separated somewhat arbitrarily, often by jurisdictional or property boundaries, as are nesting areas for coastal birds.
Date: 10Jan2017
Author: Mostello, C. S.
Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 24Mar1994
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): HAMMERSON, G.

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

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NatureServe. 2018. NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life [web application]. Version 7.1. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia. Available http://explorer.natureserve.org. (Accessed:

Citation for Bird Range Maps of North America:
Ridgely, R.S., T.F. Allnutt, T. Brooks, D.K. McNicol, D.W. Mehlman, B.E. Young, and J.R. Zook. 2003. Digital Distribution Maps of the Birds of the Western Hemisphere, version 1.0. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia, USA.

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Patterson, B.D., G. Ceballos, W. Sechrest, M.F. Tognelli, T. Brooks, L. Luna, P. Ortega, I. Salazar, and B.E. Young. 2003. Digital Distribution Maps of the Mammals of the Western Hemisphere, version 1.0. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia, USA.

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IUCN, Conservation International, and NatureServe. 2004. Global Amphibian Assessment. IUCN, Conservation International, and NatureServe, Washington, DC and Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Amphibian Range Maps of the Western Hemisphere:
"Data developed as part of the Global Amphibian Assessment and provided by IUCN-World Conservation Union, Conservation International and NatureServe."

NOTE: Full metadata for the Bird Range Maps of North America is available at:
http://www.natureserve.org/library/birdDistributionmapsmetadatav1.pdf.

Full metadata for the Mammal Range Maps of North America is available at:
http://www.natureserve.org/library/mammalsDistributionmetadatav1.pdf.

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