~Laughing Gull~ (adult) Black hood, black legs, white underparts, white crescent marks above and below eyes, reddish beak, broad white collar.
Added to my Birding Life List in April 10, 1993~
Laughing Gulls were named, because they have a laughter like call! They are medium-sized gulls with fairly long wings and long legs that impart a graceful look when they are flying or walking. They have stout, fairly long bills. Adult Laughing Gulls are medium gray above and white below.
Summer adults have a crisp black hood, white arcs around the eye, and a reddish bill. In winter, the hood becomes a blurry gray mask on a white head.
The legs are reddish black to black. Immatures are much browner and more subtly patterned than adults; they take 2-3 years to gain adult plumage.
In the early 20th century, the Laughing Gull was threatened by the feather trade. Today they are common, stable over much of their range and numbers have been increasing in the northeastern US in recent years.
If you are interested in learning more about the Laughing Gull, please visit this web-site or any other birding web-site:
I found the fact that they take 2-3 years to gain adult plumage very interesting. I took these photos on a beach near Destin, Florida about a week ago. Notice the white tail, therefore I think it is an adult in winter plumage. Some people don’t like gulls; however I enjoy watching and photographing them. I believe they serve a purpose along our shorelines.
This gull was standing about 10 feet from the edge of the Gulf, looking out over the waves, perhaps waiting for a Pelican to drop a morsel of food at its feet.
Just as I am! Every Friday you may participate in Feathers on Friday at Prairie Birder.
Some of my information for this post was taken from Field Guide to Birds of North America, Smithsonian Handbook, Birds of North America and Cornell Lad of Ornithology and their website All About Birds.