Why do they call them Laughing Gulls?

/, Florida, Fort De Soto County Park, Laughing Gulls/Why do they call them Laughing Gulls?

Calling Laughing Gull in breeding plumageCalling Laughing Gull in breeding plumage – Nikon D200, handheld, f14, 1/350, ISO 200, Nikkor 80-400mm at 185mm, natural light, not baited

They might be called Laughing Gulls because of the sounds they make which is a ha-ha-ha-ha, you can listen to the call here. Laughing Gulls are quite noisy when they are in a flock but I never minded listening to them, in fact they often made me laugh. This Laughing Gull was photographed on Fort De Soto County Park’s north beach, the sand had been piled up to fortify the feet of the lifeguard tower.  This bird is in breeding plumage, look at the huge opening of the bill!

Laughing Gull calling because of an "intruder"Laughing Gull calling because of an “intruder” – Nikon D200, handheld, f6.3, 1/750, ISO 200, Nikkor 80-400mm at 300mm, natural light, not baited

This Laughing Gull was also photographed at Fort De Soto but it was just going into breeding plumage, it wasn’t happy that another gull landed near it and was letting that be known quite loudly!

Maybe they aren’t called Laughing Gulls because of their calls but it sure makes the most sense to me!


*I am away and most likely enjoying myself in the great outdoors, please feel free to share this post with your friends and family.


  1. Mia McPherson July 29, 2013 at 6:11 pm

    Thank you all for your kind comments on this Laughing Gull post!

  2. Wally July 27, 2013 at 10:03 am

    If you ever saw me walking along the beach, you would know why they are laughing! 🙂

    The shore just wouldn’t be the same without that raucous call.

  3. Rohrerbot July 26, 2013 at 7:30 pm

    Now if they could all just look like that second photo, they’d be so much easier to ID!!!:) Until then, I’ll have to just listen to their laugh for ID:)

  4. M. Firpi July 26, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    I also have a lot of fun with popular names for species. I love finding out why they were named the way they did. The ‘Laughing Gull’ is a great example.

  5. Bob Bushell July 26, 2013 at 9:23 am

    Laughing at another world. Brilliant Mia.

  6. patty chadwick July 26, 2013 at 6:12 am

    Those sharp beaks look like they can co some serious damage…interesting colors.

  7. eric c11 July 26, 2013 at 5:46 am

    ha ha, the 1st is excelent, and the title is well found mia =)))
    have a nice day ☼

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