|Laughing Gull Larus atricilla
(aka Leucophaeus atricilla)
|The populations of Laughing Gull in the West Indies, Central America and Florida are largely resident but they also breed further north along the Atlantic coast of USA and southern Canada. These birds migrate to winter in Central America and as far south as Peru on the Pacific coast and the mouth of the Amazon on the Atlantic coast (where photos 5 and 6 were taken.|
|These photos were all taken in Cuba in February and show a mixture of breeding and non-breeding adults.
Photo 1 is a breeding adult showing the black head with crescents above and below the eye, dark red bill and legs (not quite moved out of black yet), grey back and wings with black tips and a white trailing edge. The neck, tail and underparts are white.
|Photos 2 to 4 show non-breeding adults where the head is mostly white with some grey behind the eyes and the bill and legs are black. The 4th photo is moving more towards breeding plumage with the eye-crescents becoming sharper and the tip of the bill becoming deep red.|
|Photo 5 shows a 1st winter bird and photo 6 a 2nd winter bird. Both have a black tip to the tail that is absent in the adult.|