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Laughing Gull

Why is it in the news?

  • The laughing gull, originating from North America, was spotted for the first time in India at the Chittari estuary in Kerala’s Kasaragod district.

 More about the news

  • The laughing gull (Leucophaeus atricilla) is a bird species belonging to the family Laridae.
  • It derives its name from its distinctive call, which resembles
  • These birds are typically found along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of North America, as well as in the Caribbean and parts of Central America.
  • The laughing gull is classified as Least Concern by the IUCN in terms of conservation status.
  • It is a medium-sized gull with a black head, black legs, long drooping bill, white body, and long wings.
  • The birds take 2-3 years to reach adult plumage and often nest in colonies on beaches, islands, and marshes.
  • Known for their adaptability and opportunistic feeding habits, laughing gulls feed on a variety of prey, including fish, insects, and scavenged food.
About the Chittari Estuary

·       The Chittari estuary is a coastal area where a river meets the sea, forming a brackish water environment.

·       It is situated in the Kasaragod district of Kerala, India.

·       The estuary is home to a diverse range of bird species, including the lesser black-backed gull, slender-billed gull, brown-headed gull, great crested tern, lesser crested tern, Caspian tern, and others.

·       The discovery of the laughing gull at the Chittari estuary has increased the total count of bird species discovered in India to 1,367, with the Kasaragod district contributing 400 species to the state’s total count of 554.

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