Photographs taken in North Point, Sheboygan, WI, on June 17, 2013.
Binomial name: Leucophaeus atricilla
Category: Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers
Description: White body with dark gray back and wings with a black head. In the winter, the black head will fade to white. Dark red bill and legs.
Size: 14” – 16” long, 39” – 43” wingspan
Weight: 7 oz. – 13 oz.
Habitat: Coastal shorelines, beaches, ponds, and marshes
Diet: Insects, earthworms, snails, fish, squid, crabs, berries, garbage
Nesting: They nest in large colonies (up to 50,000 birds) on beaches or other shorelines. The nest is made of grasses and is usually built on the ground (or on rocks or dead plant materials) by both the male and female. Sometimes the male will build a nest in hopes of attracting a suitable breeding partner. The female will lay 1 brood per season with 3-4 eggs. She will incubate the eggs for 21 days.
Notes: The name “laughing gull” comes from its call which sounds like a high-pitched laugh.
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