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Larus atricilla(Linnaeus, 1758)
Common Name: Laughing gull, Gaviota reidora

PhylumClassOrderFamilyGenusSpecies
ChordataAvesCharadriiformesLaridaeLarusatricilla
Habitat
This gull species can be observed along the coast and near large fresh water areas.
Distribution
This species breeds along the Atlantic and Gulfs of North America. They migrate south during winter from southern United States to Peru and Northern Brazil, and passing by Panama.
Natural History Notes
This species is the most common gull observed in Panama. Its diet consists in small insects found on land. They will also try to rob a pelican’s prey, by taking the pelican by surprise in landing on its head and catch the prey before the pelican can swallow it.

Conservation status according to IUCN 2008 Red list: Least Concern (LC).
Characteristics
The total length of this species varies between 38.10 cm and 43.18 cm (measured from tip of bill to end of tail). The bill slightly curves downward and is colored black, as well as the legs. It is important to note that the coloration pattern changes during breeding season. For example, while breeding, the bill (beak) is dark red; the animal has a black hood and white eyelids. During nonbreeding, the head and the underparts of the bird are white with a pale gray gradient especially around the eye. The mantle is dark gray and gets darker toward the wing-tips, which contrasts with a white line following the edges of the wings. The tail and the rump are white.
Immature atricilla are similar but they present some gray coloration on the breast and some gray on the tail.

Compiled by
Zoe Joly-Lopez
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Links
Reference
IUCN 2008. 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. www.iucnredlist.org.

Ridgely, Robert. S. and John. A. Gwynne. Jr. 1989. A Guide to the Birds of Panama. Second Edition. Princeton University Press. Princeton, New Jersey. 534 p.

Wetmore, Alexander. 1968. The birds of the Republic of Panamá. Part 2. Columbidae (Pigeons) to Picidae (Woodpeckers). Washington DC: Smithsonian Institution Press.
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