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Laughing Gull (Leucophaeus atricilla) | by Mark Carmody
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Laughing Gull (Leucophaeus atricilla)

OUT NOW!!!! The Birds of Ireland: A Field Guide with Jim Wilson, also available as an eBook.

Shorebirds of Ireland with Jim Wilson.

Freshwater Birds of Ireland with Jim Wilson.


The Laughing Gull, Leucophaeus atricilla, is a medium-sized gull of North and South America. 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. (There was an influx into North-west Europe in late October 2005 when at least 18, possibly as many as 35, individuals occurred on one day in the UK alone.) The Laughing Gull's English name is derived from its raucous kee-agh call, which sounds like a high-pitched laugh "ha... ha... ha...". (wikipedia, in part)


This bird was originally found in January 2014 as a 1st winter bird in Ballycotton, Co. Cork, Ireland. It is the first record in Cork since 2007/2008. It is depicted here moulting from its 2nd summer plumage to its 2nd winter plumage.

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Taken on August 12, 2014