The Laughing Gull is an average-sized marine bird that is familiar in South and North America. The Laughing Gull bird comes from the genus Leucophaeus of the Laridae family. The Laughing Gull breeds on the North American Atlantic coast, the Caribbean, and on the northern parts of South America. Northernmost Laughing Gulls travel further south during the winter season, and this seabird occurs as an uncommon vagabond to Western Europe. The English name of the Laughing Gull is based on its rough kee-agh call, which appears similar to a high-pitched laugh.
Among other gulls in the Laridae family, the Laughing Gull is simple to identify. The Laughing Gull has a body length that ranges from 14 inches to 16 inches (36 cm to 41 cm), with a wingspan between 39 inches and 43 inches (98 cm and 110 cm). The Laughing Gull assumes a body weight, ranging from 7.8 Oz to 14 Oz (240 grams to 400 grams).
The body of the summer Laughing Gull adult is white, not including the dark grey rear and wings and black cranium. The Laughing Gull's wings are very dark grey in color than all other gulls of the analogous size of its family, except the tiny Franklin's gull, and they boast black tips devoid of the white crescent, revealed by Franklin's. The beak of the Laughing Gull is elongated and red in color. The black cover is mostly lost during the winter season.
During the reproductive period, the Laughing Gull has a distinct black cap with fine white crescents around its eyes, and it will habitually boast a stain of pink on the usually white colored breast. During other occasions of the year, the Laughing Gull will lose its cap and its head will turn white, excepting a remaining dark patch behind its eye.
Earlier than attaining the maturity stage, juvenile Laughing Gulls experience quite a lot of molts, with plumage, varying from light tan, with pale rimmed feathers and black colored primaries and secondaries, to containing a white colored head, a grey colored back and a shadowy upper body.
Usually, the Laughing Gull is an opportunistic feeder, and it collects at garbage dumps to feed on leftovers, and it chases tractors to grab disturbed insects and goes behind fishing boats to feed on abandons. The Laughing Gull also robs food from other bird variety, as well as the brown pelican, from which the gull robs from its food pouch. During the breeding season, the horseshoe crab in Delaware provides a bountiful supply of food for the Laughing Gull, as it eats its eggs abundantly.
Breeding in the Laughing Gull starts from late April in the southern settlements and from late May in the northern settlements. The Laughing Gull arrives at its breeding locations around one month earlier than breeding to set up a territory and a nesting place. Upon influx, the male Laughing Gull soon starts courting female gulls with exhibits and contributions of fish, and this may continue for two weeks. This courtship plan not only assists to set up a couple relationship, but it also provides the female Laughing Gull with extra vigor for egg production.
A nest is constructed on elevated land to prevent it from being dragged to the ocean at high wave. Typically, a female Laughing Gull lays three eggs and incubated by both the female and male gulls for a maximum period of 28 days. Whilst one parent bird protects the eggs, the other searches for food and returns once in three to four hours with food. Once the baby birds have hatched the parent birds exchange protecting the juvenile and forage. The parent Laughing Gulls do not bring food back whole, as an alternative, regurgitating the prey for the baby birds.
The maximum lifespan of the Laughing Gull is 22 years.