Laughing Gull (Larus atricilla)

Above: An adult Laughing Gull (breeding plumage) poses for a portrait (Delaware Bay, 5/20/2006).
Below: Laughing Gulls feeding on Horseshoe Crag eggs (Delaware Bay, 5/20/2006).

Below: A nonbreeding adult Laughing Gull roosting at North Beach, Calvert Co., Maryland (8/18/2007).

Below two: Laughing Gulls at dusk in Somerset Co., Maryland (10/13/2007).

Below three: While crossing the Wicomico River on the Whitehaven Ferry, we noted our first three juvenile Laughing Gulls of the year (7/27/2008).

This one appears to be managing to get by.

Below: An adult Laughing Gull along the Wicomico River, Maryland (7/27/2008).

Below: A loafing Laughing Gull at the Ocean City inlet, Maryland (11/2/2008).

Below: An adult Laughing Gull feeling less excited than we were about the Thayer's Gull (Salisbury, Maryland, 11/23/2008).

Below: Adult in breeding plumage

. Below: Adult in non-breeding plumage

2nd winter plumage

1st winter plumage

Juvenile

Below: A Laughing Gull at the Ocean City Inlet, Maryland (11/11/2010).

A Laughing Gull at the Ocean City Inlet, Maryland (11/11/2010). Photo by Bill Hubick.

Below: Jim Brighton bonding with the Laughing Gulls of the Ocean City Inlet, Maryland (11/1/2009).

Jim Brighton bonding with the Laughing Gulls of the Ocean City Inlet, Maryland (11/1/2009).

Below: A juvenile Laughing Gull at the Ocean City Inlet, Maryland (7/23/2011).

A juvenile Laughing Gull at the Ocean City Inlet, Maryland (7/23/2011). Photo by Bill Hubick.

A juvenile Laughing Gull at the Ocean City Inlet, Maryland (7/23/2011). Photo by Bill Hubick.

A juvenile Laughing Gull at the Ocean City Inlet, Maryland (7/23/2011). Photo by Bill Hubick.

Below: One of two Laughing Gulls that stopped in at Fort Smallwood Park today (4/15/2012).

Below: A Laughing Gull foraging on the bay side of Assateague Island, Maryland (9/18/2011).

A Laughing Gull foraging on the bay side of Assateague Island, Maryland (9/18/2011). Photo by Bill Hubick.


Comments:  The comical laughter-like call and distinctive appearance of this coastal gull make it easy to recognize. Large flocks of these birds can be found all along the Atlantic coast and Chesapeake Bay, and they're always ready for handouts. As opportunistic a feeder as any gull, this bird has mastered the art of stealing food right out of a Brown Pelican's pouch as it surfaces from a successful dive!


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