Fun Laughing Gull Facts For Kids

Divya Raghav
Nov 16, 2022 By Divya Raghav
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Isobel Murphy
Fact-checked by Smriti Chaudhary
Read these interesting laughing gull facts about these birds with long wings and legs.

Laughing gulls are birds from the gull family. Laughing gulls are birds from Northern America and South America. They are migratory and shift to warmer areas during winter.

The laughing gull species belongs to the birds category. They are of the Charadriiformes order, family of Laridae, and Aves class. They prefer living in colonies near water bodies like beaches, oceans, seas, and lakes. One of the notable features they're known for is the gull laughing, wherein they make a laugh-like call for communication. How interesting!

There are two subspecies oflaughing gulls in the world. The lifespan of laughing gulls is generally 20 years.

They are 17 in (43 cm) long and weigh about 9.8 oz (280 g). Gulls are extremely attractive birds with a black head and black-greyish body colors, they also have white patches on their body and white underparts too. Gulls also have a unique feature of the color of their skin changing during winter.

The average litter size of these gulls is between two and four eggs, and they have an incubation period of 20 days. The conservation status of laughing gulls is currently Least Concern.

If you like this article, don't forget to read our guide to the Atlantic puffin and the fox too.

Laughing Gull Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a laughing gull?

Laughing gulls are North American medium-sized birds of the gull family. Some laughing gull species are also found in regions of South America. They are migratory birds who shift toward southern North America or the southern Atlantic Coast and Gulf Coast during winter.

What class of animal does a laughing gull belong to?

Laughing gulls are North American birds from the Aves class and kingdom Animalia. The scientific name of the laughing gull is Leucophaeus atricilla.

How many laughing gulls are there in the world?

The exact number of laughing gulls in the world today is not known.

Where does a laughing gull live?

Laughing gulls are medium-sized birds generally found near water areas such as beaches, lakes, oceans, and seas. They are known as warm weather birds that live around tidewater along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts, mostly in summer.

What is a laughing gull's habitat?

Laughing gulls are found living near areas of the coast such as salty marshlands, isles, islands, coastal regions alongside beaches or agricultural fields. They are also found inland in Florida and at Salton Sea, California.

They prefer living in warm areas and migrate during winter in search of food.

They construct their nests on the sand, mats of dead vegetation, rocks, or hidden among the leaves. They usually try to make their nests in comparatively higher areas so that the nests are safe from floods, high tides, or storm waters.

Who do laughing gulls live with?

It is very unusual or rare that you will find a single Laughing gull (Leucophaeus atricilla) living alone. They usually live in colonies or groups of up to 25,000 pairs. Both the male and female birds construct their nests with equal participation, but male birds usually start constructing nests to attract female birds for mating.

How long does a laughing gull live?

The habitat of the bird affects the survival of the species. The Cornell Lab Of Ornithology says the average lifespan of Gull laughing is approx 238 months, which is almost 20 years. The oldest laughing gull bird was 22 years old, which sadly died in Maine.

How do they reproduce?

Laughing gulls prefer living in colonies and are also colonial breeders. These medium-sized gulls are considered monogamous so they only mate with one partner for many breeding seasons.

Both mates are responsible for the construction of nests, but generally, the male bird takes the initiative to attract the female bird for breeding. The nests are 1.9 in (5 cm) high, and 3.14 in (8 cm) wide and are usually made up of sticks and grass.

The average litter size of laughing gulls is two to four eggs and the eggs are white with black and greyish spots on them. The incubation period is 20 days long, and both parents are responsible for taking care of their young chicks.

What is their conservation status?

According to the IUCN, the laughing gull (Leucophaeus atricilla) is classified as Least Concern. The population of the laughing gull bird is increasing and is stable at the moment. The main threat to these birds is the loss of suitable nesting and foraging habitats due to development, recreation, and erosion.

Laughing Gull Fun Facts

What do laughing gulls look like?

The laughing gull has a combination of very light colors. They have a fully-grown tail band with a black head, black hood, and red bill. They have dark brown wings and light greyish wash on the neck.

During its first laughing gull winter, the juvenile may experience a slight change in color and get a slightly grey-colored back. After the second summer, they get faint spots on their hood and tail. They also go through a phase until winter where the bird lacks a hood.

Laughing gulls are birds with a distinct black-colored head, and they make laugh-like sounds.

How cute are they?

These medium-sized gulls are extremely cute birds. They are known for their combination of colors and what's more interesting is that they change colors during different seasons, expecially during their breeding season.

They have an almost pure white body and a cute inky head. The eggs of the laughing gull are also very cute, with black and brown spots on them.

How do they communicate?

Laughing gulls (Leucophaeus atricilla) use different communication methods, but the most famous is the laugh-like call they use for protecting their territories. They also use other visual and tactile communication methods when breeding and during winter.

How big is a laughing gull?

Laughing gulls are 17 in (43 cm) long and weigh around 0.6 lb (280 g). The primary Franklin's gull vs. laughing gull difference is that laughing gulls are two to three times bigger than Franklin's gull. Another difference is that the bills of Franklin's gulls are smaller than the bills of laughing gulls.

How fast can a laughing gull fly?

The average speed of a laughing gull is 15 mph (24 kmph). They are migratory birds who fly at stable speeds and usually migrate to warmer areas during winter.

How much does a laughing gull weigh?

A laughing gull weighs around 0.6 lb (280 g).

What are their male and female names of the species?

The male birds are known as the male Laughing Gulls, and the female species are known as the female Laughing Gulls. Both males and females are responsible for constructing a nest, but usually, the males start making a nest and then attract females for mating.

What would you call a baby laughing gull?

There is no specific name given for the babies of this species but babies are commonly called juvenile birds or chicks. A juvenile takes 35 days to be mature enough to protect their territories.

What do they eat?

They prey on fish, insects, mollusks, and garbage.

Are they dangerous?

Beware of laughing gulls! They can snatch your food away from your hands if you're standing close to them and they can even strike, bite or peck at you.

Would they make a good pet?

They would not make a good pet as their natural habitat is near water bodies. They also have never been domesticated, and hence, cannot be kept as a pet.

Did you know...

Laughing gulls are also known as 'New York's Handsome Scavengers'. How fitting, right?

They have very complex behavior, and each bird is distinct from the other.

How did the laughing gull get its name?

This bird gets its name from the species' distinct laughing call. They make very high-pitched laughing sounds like 'ha-ha-ha'.

What happens to laughing gulls in winter?

These North American birds migrate from their North American home to the southern parts of the continent as they can more easily survive in warm temperatures. Juveniles, during their first winter, experience a slight color change in their feathers as their heads become black and greyish.

During their second winter, they develop brown and black spots on their tail and back. They also construct their nests during winter.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds, including the marbled murrelet or the corncrake.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Laughing gull coloring pages.

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Written by Divya Raghav

Bachelor of Commerce specializing in Accounting and Finance, Master of Business Administration

Divya Raghav picture

Divya RaghavBachelor of Commerce specializing in Accounting and Finance, Master of Business Administration

With a diverse range of experience in finance, administration, and operations, Divya is a diligent worker known for her attention to detail. Born and raised in Bangalore, she completed her Bachelor's in Commerce from Christ University and is now pursuing an MBA at Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Bangalore. Along with her professional pursuits, Divya has a passion for baking, dancing, and writing content. She is also an avid animal lover who dedicates her time to volunteering for animal welfare causes.

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Fact-checked by Smriti Chaudhary

Bachelor of Technology specializing in Information Technology

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Smriti ChaudharyBachelor of Technology specializing in Information Technology

Smriti, a student data scientist, and coder, is pursuing her Bachelor of Technology at K.J. Somaiya College of Engineering. She has achieved top rankings in the International English Olympiad, National Spelling Bee, and PSAT/SAT English Section. She is experienced in content creation and editing for various academic institutions.

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