Laughing Gull Larus atricilla


Taxonomic source(s)
AERC TAC. 2003. AERC TAC Checklist of bird taxa occurring in Western Palearctic region, 15th Draft. Available at: # _the_WP15.xls#.
Christidis, L. and Boles, W.E. 2008. Systematics and Taxonomy of Australian Birds. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, Australia.
Cramp, S. and Simmons, K.E.L. (eds). 1977-1994. Handbook of the birds of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The birds of the western Palearctic. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A. and Fishpool, L.D.C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Volume 1: Non-passerines. Lynx Edicions BirdLife International, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK.
SACC. 2005 and updates. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: #

IUCN Red List criteria met and history
Red List criteria met
Critically Endangered Endangered Vulnerable
- - -

Red List history
Year Category Criteria
2018 Least Concern
2016 Least Concern
2012 Least Concern
2009 Least Concern
2008 Least Concern
2004 Least Concern
2000 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1994 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1988 Lower Risk/Least Concern
Species attributes

Migratory status full migrant Forest dependency does not normally occur in forest
Land-mass type Average mass -

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence (breeding/resident) 17,000,000 km2 medium
Extent of Occurrence (non-breeding) 24,800,000 km2 medium
Severely fragmented? no -
Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
Population size unknown poor estimated 2009
Population trend increasing - estimated -
Generation length 11.3 years - - -

Trend justification: The overall population trend is increasing, although some populations have unknown trends (Wetlands International 2006). This species has undergone a large and statistically significant increase over the last 40 years in North America (344% increase over 40 years, equating to a 45.2% increase per decade; data from Breeding Bird Survey and/or Christmas Bird Count: Butcher and Niven 2007).

Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Presence Origin Resident Breeding visitor Non-breeding visitor Passage migrant
Anguilla (to UK) extant native
Antigua and Barbuda extant native
Aruba (to Netherlands) extant native
Australia extant vagrant
Austria extant vagrant
Bahamas extant native
Barbados extant native
Belize extant native
Bermuda (to UK) extant native yes
Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (to Netherlands) extant native yes
Brazil extant native
Bulgaria extant vagrant
Canada extant native
Cayman Islands (to UK) extant native
Chile extant vagrant
Colombia extant native
Costa Rica extant native yes
Cuba extant native
Curaçao (to Netherlands) extant native yes
Denmark extant vagrant
Dominica extant native
Dominican Republic extant native
Ecuador extant native
El Salvador extant native
Fiji extant vagrant yes
France extant vagrant
French Guiana extant native
Gambia extant vagrant
Gibraltar (to UK) extant vagrant
Greece extant vagrant
Greenland (to Denmark) extant vagrant
Grenada extant native yes
Guadeloupe (to France) extant native
Guatemala extant native
Guyana extant native
Haiti extant native
Honduras extant native
Iceland extant vagrant
Ireland extant vagrant
Jamaica extant native yes
Kiribati extant vagrant
Marshall Islands extant vagrant
Martinique (to France) extant native
Mexico extant native
Montserrat (to UK) extant native
Morocco extant vagrant
Namibia extant vagrant
Netherlands extant vagrant
Nicaragua extant native
Northern Mariana Islands (to USA) extant vagrant
Panama extant native
Peru extant native
Pitcairn Islands (to UK) extant vagrant
Portugal extant vagrant
Puerto Rico (to USA) extant native
Samoa extant vagrant
Senegal extant vagrant
Sint Maarten (to Netherlands) extant native yes
Spain extant vagrant
St Barthelemy (to France) extant native
St Kitts and Nevis extant native
St Lucia extant native
St Martin (to France) extant native yes
St Pierre and Miquelon (to France) extant vagrant yes
St Vincent and the Grenadines extant native
Suriname extant native
Sweden extant vagrant
Trinidad and Tobago extant native
Turks and Caicos Islands (to UK) extant native yes yes
United Kingdom extant vagrant
United States Minor Outlying Islands (to USA) extant vagrant
USA extant native yes
Venezuela extant native
Virgin Islands (to UK) extant native yes
Virgin Islands (to USA) extant native yes

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
Turks and Caicos Islands (to UK) Fish Ponds and Crossing Place Trail, Middle Caicos
Turks and Caicos Islands (to UK) North, Middle and East Caicos Ramsar Site
Turks and Caicos Islands (to UK) East Caicos and adjacent areas
Turks and Caicos Islands (to UK) Grand Turk Salinas and Shores
Turks and Caicos Islands (to UK) Turks Bank Seabird Cays
Turks and Caicos Islands (to UK) Salt Cay Creek and Salinas
Cuba Gran Humedal del Norte de Ciego de Ávila
Bahamas Great Inagua
Bahamas Grog Pond
Sint Maarten (to Netherlands) Pelikan Rock, Sint Maarten
Sint Maarten (to Netherlands) Great Salt Pond, Sint Maarten
Bahamas Long Island and Hog Cay
Bahamas North Atlantic Abaco Cays
Bahamas Southern Great Lake
Bahamas Cat Island Wetlands
Bahamas Harrold and Wilson Ponds National Park
Aruba (to Netherlands) San Nicolas Bay Reef Islands
Antigua and Barbuda McKinnons Salt Pond
Antigua and Barbuda Fitches Creek Bay
Antigua and Barbuda Valley Church Bay
Antigua and Barbuda Potworks Dam
Antigua and Barbuda Christian Cove
Antigua and Barbuda Hanson's Bay – Flashes
Antigua and Barbuda Codrington Lagoon and the Creek
Antigua and Barbuda Offshore Islands
Cuba Cayería Centro - Oriental de Villa Clara
Cuba Cayo Sabinal, Ballenatos y Manglares de la Bahía de Nuevitas
Bahamas Salt Cay
Bahamas South Beach Tidal Flats
Jamaica Pedro Cays and Bank
Anguilla (to UK) Dog Island
Anguilla (to UK) Scrub Island
Virgin Islands (to USA) Southgate and Green Cay
Bahamas Booby Island
St Kitts and Nevis Booby Island
St Barthelemy (to France) Turtle Island
Virgin Islands (to UK) Anegada: Western salt ponds and coastal areas
Virgin Islands (to USA) Saba Island and Cays
St Vincent and the Grenadines Battowia Island
Virgin Islands (to UK) Great Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago West Coast Mudflats
Trinidad and Tobago Little Tobago Island
Bahamas Red Bays
Jamaica Black River Great Morass
Cuba Humedal Sur de Sancti Spiritus
St Vincent and the Grenadines All Awash Island
St Vincent and the Grenadines Petit Canouan
French Guiana Connétable
French Guiana Plaine Kaw et Pointe Béhague
Anguilla (to UK) Prickly Pear (East and West)
Colombia Complejo de Humedales Costeros de la Guajira
USA Gulf Islands GEOPark
USA Lower Tampa Bay
USA North Deer Island
Anguilla (to UK) Cauls Pond
USA Hillsborough Bay
USA Gull Island
USA Raccoon Island

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Sea Cliffs and Rocky Offshore Islands major breeding
Marine Intertidal Sandy Shoreline and/or Beaches, Sand Bars, Spits, Etc major breeding
Marine Neritic Macroalgal/Kelp major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Macroalgal/Kelp major breeding
Marine Neritic Pelagic major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Pelagic major breeding
Marine Neritic Seagrass (Submerged) major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Seagrass (Submerged) major breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Loose Rock/pebble/gravel major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Loose Rock/pebble/gravel major breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Rock and Rocky Reefs major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Rock and Rocky Reefs major breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy major breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy-Mud major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy-Mud major breeding
Altitude   Occasional altitudinal limits  

Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
Pets/display animals, horticulture - - international non-trivial recent

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Species factsheet: Larus atricilla. Downloaded from on 09/12/2023.
Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2023) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 09/12/2023.