Franklin's Gull (Leucophaeus pipixcan)

Franklin's Gull (Leucophaeus/Larus pipixcan)

Very rare in North Carolina, Franklin's Gull has been found only once before at Jordan Lake. This bird was found on 11/4/2006 by Doug Shadwick while leading a Chapel Hill Bird Club trip at Ebenezer Point. It remained the next day, when these photographs were taken.

Until 2008, Franklin's Gull was known as Larus pipixcan.

Ebenezer Point, Jordan Lake, Chatham Co., NC 11/5/06.

Franklin's Gull (Leucophaeus/Larus pipixcan)

The gull allowed for fairly close approach, but did not appear to be injured.

Franklin's Gull (Leucophaeus/Larus pipixcan)

When I tried to get a little closer, it would casually stroll away (note raised left foot). Unfortunately, the following day the gull was found dead -- apparently killed by a predator.

Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis)

This Ring-billed Gull resting on the same beach was actually injured -- note the missing foot and lower leg.

All photographs and text ©2013 by Will Cook unless otherwise noted.