Marine Animal Encyclopedia
Laughing Gull Larus atricilla
A widespread summer visitor to North American coasts, the laughing gull rarely wanders far inland. It feeds mainly by scavenging and often follows ferries and fishing boats. Bold and self-confident, it is a familiar sight to picnickers on beaches, where it pushes larger gulls aside in the competition to get at food. It nests in large colonies on coasts. Like many dark-headed gulls, it loses its black cap during the non-breeding season, when its head turns a dull white.