While walking along the Sandtown trail at the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma, I had the pleasure of experiencing a unique moment. A Bonaparte’s Gull flew low overhead, giving me the opportunity to capture a stunning photo. The Sandtown trail follows the river for a short distance, providing a prime location for spotting these elegant birds.

Bonaparte's Gull at Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge

Bonaparte’s Gull at Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge

I was thrilled that the bird filled the frame, allowing me to crop the image less. Although it’s a common sight to see birds fly up and down the river at the refuge, capturing a close-up shot of a Bonaparte’s Gull in flight was extraordinary.

If you’re planning a visit to the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge, don’t miss the chance to observe the Bonaparte’s Gull and its unique characteristics. With their distinct features and captivating behavior, these birds make excellent subjects for both novice and experienced wildlife photographers.

Gear Used:

  • Camera: Canon EOS R7
  • Lens: Canon RF 100-500 mm F4.5-7.1 L IS USM


  • Location: Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge (Oklahoma)
  • Date and Time Taken: February 15, 2023 (10:23 A. M.)
  • Exposure Mode: Manual
  • Aperture: f7.1
  • Shutter speed: 1/2000
  • ISO: 320 (Auto) 
  • Focal Length: 500 mm

I mainly photograph these birds at Kerr Dam near Sallisaw, Oklahoma: Two Gulls One Winner