Possible Laughing Gull sighting

Subject: Possible Laughing Gull sighting
From: Katrina Knight <>
Date: Wed, 21 Jan 2009 21:36:15 -0500
At 08:56 PM 01/21/2009 Kingfisher Park Birdwatchers Lodge wrote:
A Laughing Gull has been reported from Palm Cove, 30 mins north of Cairns, and can be viewed at It does look like a Laughing Gull to my untrained eye but can we rule out Franklins? The bird has been here since at least the 19th Jan. and was still present on 21st

I've seen plenty of Laughing Gulls but not that many Franklin's. Judging from just one picture can sometimes fool you, but I don't see anything in that picture to make me think it isn't a Laughing Gull. An immature Franklin's Gull should have a larger and darker dark area on the head rather than just the darker spot behind the eye. Laughing Gulls also look heavier-billed than Franklin's Gulls which fits with how this one looks in the picture. There's a size difference too, but since the bird is alone in the picture that's not useful.

Katrina Knight

Reading, PA, USA


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