Saw my first flock of “prairie doves” this morning, so I thought it’d be a good idea to update and reblog this post on the beautiful Franklin’s Gull.

The Waterthrush Blog

In honor of finding my first southbound flock of migrating Franklin’s Gulls this morning, I have updated and am re-posting this essay from Nov. 2, 2006.  Enjoy.


There was Benjamin Franklin – a guy crazy enough to fly a kite in a thunderstorm. There is Franklin, tortoise-friend of Little Bear. Then there’s Franklin Delano Roosevelt, arbiter of the New Deal and immortalized on the dime. And don’t forget Roosevelt Franklin, the tiny muppet who had more soul than anybody else on Sesame Street. But for all their celebrity, none of these Franklins have a gull named after him. That honor belongs uniquely to Sir John Franklin, British naval explorer extraordinaire.

At a time when the name “Napolean” rang fear through the hearts of his enemies, there was tremendous interest in charting a “Northwest Passage” from the North Atlantic west and north of mainland…

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