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Friday, August 06, 2021

Friday's Foto

Laughing Gulls are the ubiquitous, black headed gulls of our coastal beaches in summer. In breeding plumage this medium-sized gull has a black head, red bill and white eye crescents. Nesting on NYC's small harbor islands and salt marshes, they frequently form large breeding colonies numbering in the tens of thousands. As a coastal species their diet mostly consists of crustaceans, insects and fish. They also readily take handouts from beachgoers and pilfer sandwiches from unwary sunbathers. Despite not being listed on the "2016 State of North America's Birds' Watch List", according to Cornell, "People still threaten individual gull colonies by disturbing the birds while they are nesting, driving over nest sites with off-road vehicles, or letting off-leash dogs run through colonies". This long distant migrant overwinters in Central America or northern South America, as well as along the southern Atlantic Coast and Gulf Coast. Some are year round residents in Florida. Listen to the calls of the Laughing Gull:

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