Bonaparte's Gull
(Chroicocephalus philadelphia)

Summary

Picture of bird
© Ralph Hocken
For additional photos and vocalizations, visit Dendroica. (Link opens in a new window.)

The Bonaparte’s Gull breeds throughout boreal Canada and Alaska, and winters along the Great Lakes and oceanic coasts south to Mexico. It is best surveyed on its wintering grounds primarily in the United States. Results from the Christmas Bird Count suggest that the species has exhibited a large increase in abundance since about 1970. However, this assessment is considered to be of medium reliability because of the precision of the trend estimate. A lack of monitoring information from its Boreal breeding grounds complicates management, but the species’ status appears secure. With such a large percentage of the world’s breeding population, Canada’s responsibility for the species’ conservation is very high. This species has been identified as a priority for conservation and/or stewardship in one or more Bird Conservation Region Strategies in Canada.

Designations

Main designations for the species
DesignationStatusDateSubspecies, population
IUCN (Global)Least concern2018 
Wild Species (Canada)Secure2015 
Bird Conservation Region StrategyPriority Species2013 

Population status

Geographic area or populationPopulation change relative to ~1970ReliabilityStatus in relation to goal
CanadaLarge IncreaseMediumAt an Acceptable Level
 

Population estimate

Geographic area or populationPopulation estimate
CanadaNot yet available
 

Distribution maps

 

Migration strategy, occurrence

Short-distance migrant

Responsibility for conservation

Geographic areaResponsibility based on % of global population
CanadaVery High

General nesting period in Canada

Nesting period starts between early May and late May and ends between mid-July and late July, depending on the region. Before or after this period, the probability of an active nest is lower.
 

Conservation and management

The Bonaparte’s Gull breeds throughout the northern Boreal ecozone; breeding individuals in many portions of this large and remote range may face few anthropogenic threats. Migration counts, at major autumn staging areas (e.g., the Niagara River, the Tadoussac Important Bird Area, and Quoddy Region in the Bay of Fundy), may be useful to help monitor populations of this species (Kirk et al. 2008).

 

Bird conservation region strategies

Environment and Climate Change Canada and partners have developed Bird Conservation Region Strategies in each of Canada’s Bird Conservation Regions (BCRs). In these strategies, selected species are identified as priorities for one or more of the following reasons:

  • conservation concerns (i.e., species vulnerable due to population size, distribution, population trend, abundance, or threats)
  • stewardship responsibilities (i.e., species that typify the regional avifauna or have a large proportion of their range or population in the sub-region)
  • management concerns (i.e., species that require ongoing management because of their socio-economic importance as game species, or because of their impacts on other species or habitats)
  • other concerns (i.e., species deemed a priority by regional experts for other reasons than those listed above or because they are listed as species at risk or concern at the provincial level)

Select any of the sub-regions below to view the BCR strategy for additional details.

BCRs, marine biogeographic units, and sub-regions in which the species is listed as a priority
RegionSub-region and priority type
Atlantic Northern ForestsAtlantic Northern Forests, sub-region and priority type: Quebec -- Other
Boreal Softwood ShieldBoreal Softwood Shield, sub-region and priority type: Prairie and Northern -- Conservation
Boreal Softwood ShieldBoreal Softwood Shield, sub-region and priority type: Quebec -- Other
Boreal Taiga PlainsBoreal Taiga Plains, sub-region and priority type: Prairie and Northern -- Conservation
Gulf of St. LawrenceGulf of St. Lawrence, sub-region and priority type: Atlantic, NS -- Other
Gulf of St. LawrenceGulf of St. Lawrence, sub-region and priority type: Atlantic, PE -- Other
Lower Great Lakes/St. Lawrence PlainLower Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Plain, sub-region and priority type: Ontario -- Conservation
Northwestern Interior ForestNorthwestern Interior Forest, sub-region and priority type: Pacific and Yukon -- Stewardship
Prairie PotholesPrairie Potholes, sub-region and priority type: Prairie and Northern -- Other
Scotian ShelfScotian Shelf, sub-region and priority type: Atlantic, NB -- Other
Scotian ShelfScotian Shelf, sub-region and priority type: Atlantic, NS -- Other
Taiga Shield and Hudson PlainsTaiga Shield and Hudson Plains, sub-region and priority type: Prairie and Northern -- Conservation
Taiga Shield and Hudson PlainsTaiga Shield and Hudson Plains, sub-region and priority type: Quebec -- Other
 

References