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Laughing Gull - Larus atricilla
First-years
All of the first -year Laughing Gulls here were photographed at Rollover Pass car park, Bolivar Peninsula, Texas in April 2007.
Note the long slender all dark bill, bold white eye lids, dusky bandit mark with heavy mottling down the nape and hind neck, the dusky grey tomes to under-parts and mid-darkish grey upper-parts. Reminiscent of first-winter and juvenile Mediterranean Gulls, see those pages for comparisons. However Laughing Gull is an overall darker and dingier look bird, darker upper-part colouration an.

This bird aged as a first -year as a number of browner wing coverts present and the darker secondaries are visible whilst the dark primaries lack any mirrors.

All of the tertials are replaced with newer grey more adult like feathers.
Another example of a dark and dingy looking bird, note the extensive grey to the breast sides, the slaty upper-parts, the brown primaries and secondaries and older brown wing coverts.

Also here note the long attenuated rear end, Laughing Gulls are rather long winged. Some of the tertials have been replaced but overall the bird looks rather tatty and worn.
Again note the grey wash the under-parts. Unlike most of the other birds above this individual has not yet replaced any wing coverts or tertials however the long winged attenuated rear end is still clearly obvious.
These birds are both first-years but note the differences between them. The bird on the left has a stronger and bolder bandit mask than the bird on the right which bleeds less into the grey wash on the hind neck and is more similar to that seen on MedGulls. Fewer wing coverts have been replaced on the left bird than on the right bird however both still exhibit the dingy grey appearance typical of the species.