Skip to Content

Gull: Franklin's

Identify and index birds in Southern Africa
User avatar
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 838
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2005 8:29 am
Location: Stuck in Gauteng

Gull: Franklin's

Unread post by Johann » Mon Aug 18, 2008 4:20 pm

I was quite happy to twitch this one. At least it didn't get away like some in the past. Thought I'll post some pics so we all know what we went running after. (I forgot the tri-pod at home. Pics could've been better)


Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
Albert Einstein

Latest lifers from Kruger NP:
Thick-billed Cuckoo Pachycoccyx audeberti Dikbekkoekoek
Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe Europese skaapwagter

User avatar
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Posts: 5000
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 10:27 am
Location: Chasing down the rarities

Re: Franklins Gull in Pretoria

Unread post by wildtuinman » Tue Aug 19, 2008 11:10 am

My contribution... the difference between itself and the Grey-headed gull can also clearly be seen.

Latest Lifer(s): Burchell's Courser, Cory's Shearwater, Wilson's Storm-Petrel, European Storm-Petrel, Great Winged Petrel, Grey Waxbill, Cape Rock-jumper

Follow me as I bird on Twitter @wildtuinman

User avatar
Johan van Rensburg
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Posts: 2545
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2006 3:33 pm
Location: Jam Street

Franklin's Gull

Unread post by Johan van Rensburg » Fri Aug 22, 2008 1:06 pm

Franklin's Gull, Larus pipixcan

The unexpected appearance of this gull at Centurion has given many a birder one of the easiest ticks on his / her life list ever! The bird is very much at home at this spot and will most likely be hanging around for a while. Just don’t ask me why… this water body is a real vrotgat! (stink hole). Wildtuinman helped me navigate through the Pretoria peak hour traffic to a relatively quiet spot next to the water and within five minutes he had located the bird. Thanks for a nice one, WTM :wink:

For an in-depth read, check out this link.

It is not unusual for the Franklin’s gull to hang around away from the coast… in their usual haunts back in Canada and the USA that is exactly where they are found – mainly some way off the coast!

Large view

The Franklin's Gull is unique among gulls in having two complete molts each year rather than one. This is an adaptation in order to maintain their status as one of the world champion long-distance migrants. They need new, strong feathers in order to meet the demands of their 8000-kilometre flights. After nesting in the central provinces of Canada and adjacent states of the northern USA, they undergo a complete molting of their feathers, then fly south to the coast of Texas, and continue south along the Caribbean coast of Mexico. From there they make an overland flight across to the Pacific Coast which they follow all the way to southern Peru and northern Chile. After spending the winter there, they undergo another complete feather molt, and follow the same migration route in reverse.

Rare vagrants fly to northwest Europe, south and west Africa, Australia and Japan. Some records exist around the coastline of South Africa, but this sighting made at Centurion is only the 2nd inland record.

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. This bird is in non-breeding adult plumage.

Like most gulls they are omnivorous, eating insects, earthworms, fish, mice, garbage and seeds. They forage while walking or swimming and sometimes hawk insects on the wing.
728 Latest lifers: Hartlaub's babbler, Coppery-tailed coucal, Red-billed spurfowl, White-browed coucal, Scharlow's turaco, Copper sunbird, Long-toed lapwing, Eastern bronze-naped pigeon, Malagasy pond heron, Soft-plumaged petrel, Orange-winged pytilia.

User avatar
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Posts: 17062
Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2007 1:41 pm
Location: Johannesburg - where they cut down trees and name streets after them.

Re: Franklins Gull in Pretoria

Unread post by JenB » Sun Aug 31, 2008 7:05 pm

We took a Sunday arvie drive to Centurion and found the little rascal! :D
"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened." ~ Anatole France

User avatar
Rusty Justy
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 2357
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 11:11 pm
Location: Sunninghill(JHB), Vaalwater & Beauty(Waterberg), Grahamstown(E.C)

Re: Franklin's Gull

Unread post by Rusty Justy » Sat Sep 20, 2008 4:59 pm

Here's my snap shot :)

:dance: STIFFNECKS MEMBER :dance:


Return to “Birding in Southern Africa”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

Webcam Highlights

Submitted by Trrp-trrrrrrrr at 06:29:14
Submitted by Trrp-trrrrrrrr at 06:06:53
Submitted by Trrp-trrrrrrrr at 06:29:42
Submitted by Trrp-trrrrrrrr at 06:29:56