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Laughing Gull

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Laughing Gull

Scientific classification
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Charadriiformes
Family:Laridae
Genus:Larus
Species:atricilla
Binomial name
Larus atricilla
Linnaeus, 1758

The Laughing Gull, Larus atricilla, is a medium-sized gull of North and South America. It breeds on the Atlantic coast of North America, the Caribbean, southern California, USA, and northern South America. Northernmost populations migrate further south in winter, and this species has occurred as a very rare vagrant to western Europe.

This species is easy to identify. The summer adult's body is white and its wings are much darker grey than all other gulls of similar size except the smaller Franklin's Gull, and have black tips. Its bill is red. The hood is mostly lost in winter. The Laughing Gull's name is derived from its raucous call.

Laughing Gulls breed in coastal marshes and ponds as far north 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 Larus gulls, and they will scavenge as well as seeking suitable small prey.

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