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 (km2) 17,000,000 medium
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 24,800,000 medium
Number of locations -
Severely Fragmented -
Population and trend
Value Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals poor estimated 2009
Population trend Increasing estimated -
Decline (3 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (5 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation future) - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation past and future) - - -
Number of subpopulations - - -
Percentage in largest subpopulation - - -
Generation length (yrs) 11.3 - - -

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

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
Venezuela Parque Nacional Archipiélago Los Roques
Jamaica Yallahs
Jamaica Morant Cays and Bank
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 Harrold and Wilson Ponds National Park
Bahamas Great Inagua
Bahamas Grog Pond
Sint Maarten (to Netherlands) Pelikan Rock, Sint Maarten
Sint Maarten (to Netherlands) Great Salt Pond, Sint Maarten
St Vincent and the Grenadines Ashton Wetland
Bahamas Long Island and Hog Cay
Bahamas North Atlantic Abaco Cays
Bahamas Southern Great Lake
Bahamas Cat Island Wetlands
Aruba (to Netherlands) San Nicolas Bay Reef Islands
Aruba (to Netherlands) Tierra del Sol Salina
Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (to Netherlands) Klein Bonaire, Bonaire
Aruba (to Netherlands) Bubali Wetlands
Aruba (to Netherlands) Oranjestad Reef Islands
Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (to Netherlands) Pelkermeer Saltworks, Bonaire
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 Bethesda 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 Delta del Cauto
Cuba Cayería Centro - Oriental de Villa Clara
Cuba Cayo Sabinal, Ballenatos y Manglares de la Bahía de Nuevitas
Bahamas Salt Cay
Bahamas Gilliam Bay
Bahamas South Beach Tidal Flats
St Lucia Pitons (Qualibou and Canaries)
Jamaica Pedro Cays and Bank
Anguilla (to UK) Dog Island
Anguilla (to UK) Scrub Island
Virgin Islands (to USA) Great Pond
Virgin Islands (to USA) Southgate and Green Cay
Anguilla (to UK) Cove Pond
Anguilla (to UK) Prickly Pear (East and West)
Bahamas Booby Island
St Kitts and Nevis Booby Island
Virgin Islands (to USA) Saba Island and Cays
St Barthelemy (to France) Turtle Island
Virgin Islands (to UK) Anegada: Western salt ponds and coastal areas
Virgin Islands (to USA) John Brewer's Bay
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 Allan's Cays
Bahamas Red Bays
Jamaica Black River Great Morass
Bahamas Conception Island National Park
Cuba Humedal Sur de Sancti Spiritus
St Vincent and the Grenadines All Awash Island
St Vincent and the Grenadines Petit Canouan
St Vincent and the Grenadines Mustique Island
Mexico Humedales Costeros del Norte de la Península de Yucatán
Mexico Islas Marietas
French Guiana Connétable
French Guiana Plaine Kaw et Pointe Béhague
Guyana North-west Coastline
Bahamas Great Isaac Cay
Jamaica Font Hill
Colombia Complejo de Humedales Costeros de la Guajira
USA Bird Key Stono
USA Gulf Islands GEOPark
USA Lower Tampa Bay
USA North Deer Island
USA Sundown Island
Anguilla (to UK) Cauls Pond
USA Hillsborough Bay
USA Gull Island
USA Raccoon Island
Brazil Reentrâncias Maranhenses / Paraenses
Colombia Laguna de la Cocha

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 (2022) Species factsheet: Larus atricilla. Downloaded from on 02/12/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 02/12/2022.