Laughing Gull Leucophaeus atricilla



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Photos from this Account

Breeding adult

Medium-sized gull with a thin and slightly drooping bill. Breeding adults have a black head, thin white eye crescents, and a red bill.

Nonbreeding adult

Nonbreeding adults have a bit of black smudging behind the eye, but are otherwise white with a medium gray back. Note the small white spots on the primaries.


Medium-sized gull with a thin, slightly drooping bill. Juveniles are brownish, paler on the head and neck, with white eye crescents.

First winter

First winter gulls are starting to acquire gray feathers on their back and wings. The head and neck remains gray and smudgy. Note slightly drooping bill and dark primaries.

Second winter

Second winter gulls have a gray wash on their neck and chest with darker gray smudging on the head.

Breeding adult

In flight, note the dark underside of the primaries on breeding adults

First winter

First winter gulls in flight show dark primaries and a wide dark tail band.

Nonbreeding adult

Nonbreeding adults are mostly white and gray with a bit of gray smudging on the head above and behind the eye. Note the dark primaries with little to no white spots on the folding wings.


Found in groups in beaches, salt marshes, mangroves, or on agricultural fields or landfills near the coast.

Recommended Citation

Laughing Gull (Leucophaeus atricilla), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: