img
Birds

Laughing
Gull

Least Concern

Increasing

Laughing Gull

Larus atricilla

The Laughing Gull is a medium-sized gull of North and South America. It breeds on the Atlantic coast of North America, the Caribbean, and northern South America. Northernmost populations migrate further south in winter, and this species occurs as a rare vagrant to western Europe. The Laughing Gull's name is derived from its raucous kee-agh call, which sounds like a high-pitched laugh ''ha... ha... ha...''.

This species is easy to identify. It is 41 cm long with a 110 cm wingspan. The summer adult's body is white apart from the dark grey back and wings and black head. Its wings are much darker grey than all other gulls of similar size except the smaller Franklin's Gull, and they have black tips without the white crescent shown by Franklin's. The beak is long and red. The black hood is mostly lost in winter.

Laughing Gulls take three years to reach adult plumage. Immature birds are always darker than most similar-sized gulls other than Franklin's. First-year birds are greyer below and have paler heads than first-year Franklin's, and second-years can be distinguished by the wing pattern and structure.

Laughing Gulls breed in coastal marshes and ponds in large colonies. The large nest, made largely from grasses, is constructed on the ground. The 3 or 4 greenish eggs are incubated for about three weeks. These are omnivores like most gulls, and they will scavenge as well as seeking suitable small prey.

-

Regional Names
  • French:
    Mouette atricille
Media Gallery
Taxanomy

CHARADRIIFORMES
LARIDAE
Larus atricilla

Laughing Gull

Range Map

Similar Birds

similar Birds you may like

img

Belcher's Gull

Larus belcheri
Read more
img

Black-headed Gull

Larus ridibundus
Read more
img

Black-tailed Gull

Larus crassirostris
Read more
img

Bonaparte's Gull

Chroicocephalus philadelphia
Read more
img

Brown-headed Gull

Larus brunnicephalus
Read more
img

European Herring Gull

Larus argentatus
Read more
img

Franklin's Gull

Leucophaeus pipixcan
Read more
img

Glaucous Gull

Larus hyperboreus
Read more
img

Glaucous-winged Gull

Larus glaucescens
Read more
img

Gray Gull

Leucophaeus modestus
Read more
img

Gray-hooded Gull

Chroicocephalus cirrocephalus
Read more
img

Great Black-backed Gull

Larus marinus
Read more
img

Heermann's Gull

Larus heermanni
Read more
img

Heuglin's Gull

Larus heuglini
Read more
img

Iceland Gull

Larus glaucoides
Read more
img

Ivory Gull

Pagophila eburnea
Read more
img

Kelp Gull

Larus dominicanus
Read more
img

Pallas's Gull

Larus ichthyaetus
Read more
img

Ring-billed Gull

Larus delawarensis
Read more
img

Ross's Gull

Rhodostethia rosea
Read more
img

Slaty-backed Gull

Larus schistisagus
Read more
img

Swallow-tailed Gull

Creagrus furcatus
Read more
img

Thayer's Gull

Larus thayeri
Read more
img

Western Gull

Larus occidentalis
Read more
img

Yellow-footed Gull

Larus livens
Read more
img

Yellow-legged Gull

Larus michahellis
Read more