The Assateague
Naturalist

Laughing Gull Picture Laughing Gull (Larus atricilla)

Laughing gulls are abundant on Assateague from spring through fall, but rare in winter since they usually winter from North Carolina southward (although they have been spotted wintering in parking lots around Philadelphia's shopping centers).

Distinguished from other black headed gulls most easily by their loud "laughter," their "ha-ha-ha-ha," these gulls dine on insects, fish, crabs--and just about any food you toss them.

Laughing gulls nest in colonies on the ground, and the females lay up to about four brown-olive tinted eggs with dark splotches that hatch in about three weeks.

The photo was taken on Assateague's beach.

Laughing Gull Call (.wav format)
(Sound source: Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, United States Department of the Interior)

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