Laughing Gulls are commonly seen at Fort De Soto County Park but novices to birding and bird watching might think they are three different kinds of gulls depending on their age and plumage. The Laughing Gull in the image above flying over the Gulf of Mexico is an adult in breeding plumage.
The Laughing Gull in this image looks quite different but is also an adult shown in nonbreeding plumage. This bird lacks the dark hood and reddish bill that a Laughing Gull shows in breeding plumage.
This last image shows a juvenile Laughing Gull which in size, shape and form looks just like the adult Laughing Gulls but the plumage is quite different in color and pattern. It can be even more confusing because Laughing Gulls in 1st winter, 1st summer and 2nd winter also exhibit differences in plumage.
Laughing Gulls may have been common for me to see in Florida but here in Utah seeing one would be considered rare.
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