Galapagos Franklin Gull

Name: Franklin Gull
Family: Laridae
Scientific name: Larus pipixcan
Length: 32 - 38 cm (12.6 - 14.9 in)
Weight: 203-371 g.
Wingspan: 87 - 91 cm (34 - 35.8 in)

Category: Sea Birds
Number of Species: 47
Endemic Species: 13

In total, 47 species of sea birds have been recorded in the Galapagos, 19 of which are resident to the Islands. The sea birds therefore account for nearly one third of all the species ever recorded in the islands and about the same proportion of the resident species.

Seabirds can be conveniently divided into 12 groups, as show in the table below. This shows the number of species recorded in each group and summarizes their status. If also shows the number of endemic species and the number of other species which are represented by endemic subspecies. Species are treated as migrants if they occur annually, vagrants being those recorded less frequently.

Category: Sea Birds
Endemic subspecies: Swallow-tailed Gull; Lava Gull

Five species of Gulls have been recorded in Galapagos, which include 2 residents, 2 migrants and 1 vagrant. Gulls are medium-sized to largish seabirds with long, pointed wings and longish, rather stout, hook-tipped bills, usually with a marked gonydeal angle. Their legs are longish and their feet webbed. The gulls recorded in Galápagos are predominantly grey and white in adult plumage, although the Lava Gull is wholly grey. The sexes are alike. Birds take a number of years to attain adult plumage and immature plumages are variable, often making identification difficult. Gulls feed by picking food from the surface of the water or by scavenging, often along the shoreline.

Regular migrant, mostly from October to May. Breeds in North America, spending the northern winter on the west coast of South America.


A smallish gull. ADULT BREEDING: White under parts and tail with medium-gray mantle and upper wings. Black hood with bold white crescents above and below eye. Bill dark red. In flight shows equal amount of black and white at wing-tip. ADULT NON-BREEDlNG: Differs from breeding adult in much reduced hood, with black only around and behind the eye. FIRST-WINTER: Saddle dark grey; rest of upper parts and upper wings gray-brown; partial hood as in non-breeding adult. In flight, white tail has black sub terminal band which does not extend to the edge of the rail as the outermost tail feathers are white.

Franklin Gull