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Franklin’s gull (Leucophaeus pipixcan), named after the Arctic explorer Sir John Franklin, is a small bird that is sometimes referred to as a prairie dove. Its head is black with a distinctive small white ring around the eyes. The bill is orange with a black spot near the tip. Its grey wings have a white border and black tips. The legs and feet are red-orange. It breeds in central provinces of Canada and adjacent states of the northern USA, wintering in the Caribbean, Peru, Chile, and Argentina. The floating nest of the Franklin's Gull gradually sinks as the material below the water surface decays, and it requires continual maintenance. Both parents add new nest material daily until one or two weeks before departing the colony. Older chicks also add nest material from the immediate vicinity of the nest.The Franklin's Gull is unique among gulls in having two complete moults each year rather than one.
Franklin's Gull