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Laughing Gull
17-Feb-2017 Copyright Douglas Janson

Laughing Gull

Sarasota, Florida

Scientific name: Leucophaeus 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 English 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 3641 cm (1416 in) long with a 98110 cm (3943 in) 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.


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