for its well-known laughing call, the Laughing Gull is a common sight (and
sound) of the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the United States. They have
the unusual habit of stealing food from Brown Pelicans, landing on their
heads and stealing fish from the Pelican's large pouch. Rarely seen
inland, the Laughing Gull is a rare visitor to the state.
Habitat: Generally only found near coastal regions, only rarely
venturing very far inland except in Florida and around the Salton Sea.
On coasts, primarily found around beaches and salt marshes.
Diet: Small fish, insects,
crustaceans, earthworms, eggs and young birds, refuse.
Behavior: Forages by walking, wading, or swimming,
and occasionally by plunge-diving or dipping from the surface in flight.
Breeding: Non-breeder in South Dakota
Migration: Summers along Atlantic and Gulf Coasts. Populations along northern part
of Atlantic Coast move south in the fall, while southern U.S. populations are
generally permanent residents. A true coastal bird that is only very
rarely seen inland.
Conservation Status: Numbers were seriously
depleted during the 19th century, but recovered quickly and are now stable.
Cornell University's "All About Birds - Laughing Gull"
Photo Information: June
22nd, 2005 -- Chincoteague, Virginia -- Terry Sohl
Additional Photos: Click on the image chips or
text links below for additional, higher-resolution Laughing Gull photos.