Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Short French Tyrant Bird

What's the rarest creature ever featured at Toronto Wildlife? Hm...difficult to say. Probably none of the wildllife in our index is actually endangered, so the question is maybe, what specimen are you least likely to see?

Possibly - though it is open to debate - this is your winner.

This is the Bonaparte's Gull. They aren't really named after Napolean, but rather his nephew, ornithologist Charles Lucien Bonaparte. They only have a black head during breeding season, while the rest of the year they look like most any other seagull at a quick glance. They are reasonably plentiful around the city, however you just don't catch them in black head configuration too often. At least I don't, and I was only able to snap a couple of quick shots of this customer before he was gone.

Be aware that these birds can be mistaken for the Common Tern, and vice versa.

Taken at Cranberry Marsh. Click to enlarge.