He is a fool who lets slip a bird…


He is a fool who lets slip a bird in the hand for a bird in the bush.

A Plutarch quotation (c. 46 – c. 120), Greek biographer, essayist, philosopher…

The Laughing Gull species is easy to identify. The summer adult’s body is white apart from the dark grey back and wings and black head. Its wings are much darker grey than all other gulls of similar size except the smaller Franklin’s Gull, and they have black tips without the white crescent shown by Franklin’s.

Identification Tips:
• Length: 13 inches Wingspan: 41 inches
• Medium-sized, long-winged gull
• Long red bill somewhat droopy towards tip
• Head flat at forehead, giving “mean” look
• Adult plumage reached in third year

Laughing Gull

Have you seen this bird?

Adult alternate:
• Red bill, black head, white tail
• Thin white crescents above and below eye
• White neck, breast, and belly
• Dark gray back and upperwings
• Pale scapular crescent and tertial crescent
• Dark primaries, usually with no white tips
• Dark primaries blend into gray of upperwings without white division

Adult basic:
• Black bill, white tail
• White head with faint black streaking on rear part of head
• Dark primaries, usually with small white tips

The Laughing Gull, Leucophaeus atricilla, is a medium-sized gull of the Americas. It breeds on the Atlantic coast of North America, the Caribbean, and northern South America. Northernmost populations migrate further south in winter, and this species occurs as a rare vagrant to western Europe.

Laughing Gulls breed in coastal marshes and ponds in large colonies. The large nest, made largely from grasses, is constructed on the ground. Their 3 or 4 greenish eggs are incubated for about three weeks. These are omnivores like most gulls, and they will scavenge as well as seek suitable small prey.


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He is a fool who lets slip a bird in the hand for a bird in the bush.

By Plutarch (c. 46 – c. 120), Greek biographer, essayist, etc…


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