New York Natural Heritage Program
Laughing Gull
Leucophaeus atricilla Linnaeus, 1758
Birds

Habitat [-]
Laughing Gulls are ground nesters and nest in a variety of coastal habitats including sandy beaches, dredge spoil islands, salt marshes, and vegetated and rocky islands (Burger 1996) with enough vegetation to protect nests from predators and high tides (Andrle and Carroll 1988). In New York, Laughing Gulls nest primarily on the vegetated saltmarsh nonbarrier islands of southern Long Island.

Associated Ecological Communities [-]
  • High salt marsh
    A coastal marsh community that occurs in sheltered areas of the seacoast, in a zone extending from mean high tide up to the limit of spring tides. It is periodically flooded by spring tides and flood tides. High salt marshes typically consist of a mosaic of patches that are mostly dominated by a single graminoid species.
  • Low salt marsh
    A coastal marsh community that occurs in sheltered areas of the seacoast, in a zone extending from mean high tide down to mean sea level or to about 2 m (6 ft) below mean high tide. It is regularly flooded by semidiurnal tides. The mean tidal range of low salt marshes on Long Island is about 80 cm, and they often form in basins with a depth of 1.6 m or greater.

Associated Species [-]
  • Herring Gull (Larus argentatus)
  • Ring-Billed Gull (Larus delawarensis)
  • Great Black-Backed Gull (Larus marinus)