Through the Looking Glass of Val Lee—Laughing Gull of Caribbean

 

Laughing Gulls and they mate for life

Laughing Gulls and they mate for life @Val J. Lee

Among the many islands in the Caribbean Sea, Antigua is most popular among tourists due to its breathtaking nature repertoire.

Antigua

Antigua Island @ Val J. Lee

I shot these Laughing Gull photos when vacationing with my husband in Antigua and on the Island of St. Thomas. A community of these gulls can provide a pleasant evening of soaring entertainment, as they descend on and consume small fish navigating near the surface of the ocean and snatch insects on the wing.

Laughing Gull community

Laughing Gulls in a community @Val J. Lee

Their entrée desires include “mollusks, fish, bird eggs, young birds, squid, crabs and other crustaceans, insects, carrion, and garbage.” Like many aves, they will eat whatever is available, though Laughing Gulls, like other gulls, will even steal food.

Bold gulls will come and take from an uplifted hand in offer of a french fry or anything edible.  Of course, they too love to catch food when thrown. Ivar’s Restaurant in Seattle is famous for such gull dock feedings; in fact, if food is tossed in the air, a gull can easily snatch it up! (Though these are not Laughing Gulls). Gulls will fight other birds for food as most birds do.

Laughing Gulls also engage their flying skills to pluck fish from birds in flight, and can shift maneuvers to pester prey birds until they drop the food which a gull will catch before it hits the water. Yes, quite the flying acrobats.

These entertainers laugh like a bunch of crazy people when aroused. Easy to guess their label acquirement.

There is a posted video showing a seagull walking into a store nonchalantly, snatching a small bag of potato chips without even paying for it. 😊 The bird did this everyday, going for the bright orange package near the door, getting a distance from the store and then opening and chowing down. There is also another video of a gull flying through a kitchen window and stealing food on plates, and another of one walking in a back door and stealing kitty food out of the bowl, the cat being too lazy to care.

Laughing Gull © Val J. Lee

Laughing Gull © Val J. Lee

The Laughing Gull is rarely seen solo with no other seagull in sight. Their entertaining characteristics include being gregarious.

Laughing Gull © Val J. Lee

Laughing Gull © Val J. Lee

Yes, that is quite the wingspan you see in the above photo—around 42 inches. Seagulls exhibit remarkably long flight wings. Their body length runs between 15 to 18 inches and they weigh up to 13 ounces.

My video:

 

The Laughing ones flight range expands from Nova Scotia to Trinidad and winters as far as South America. They never wander far inland, loving the eastern coastal waters of tasty nuggets.

The adult, Laughing Seagull’s body is white, apart from the dark-grey rear wings, black tail wings and its black head with eyes outlined in white and beet-hued beaks.

Laughing Gull © Val J. Lee

Laughing Gull © Val J. Lee

When they open their mouths to talk, you can note, it is beet-red too. (See photo above) All lovely colors chosen from the Master’s pallet.

Their black faces and black eyes—highlighted in white, is the striking stand-out for viewers.

Seagulls own excellent vision … birds, in general, own incredible sight-seeing attributes. Seagulls are one of the few bird species comprised of eyes able to move within the sockets. Yes, miraculously, formed by Jesus Christ the Creator of all; Colossians 1:15-20 (the Bible). All things, including birds, were created by Him and for Him.

Laughing Gulls © Val J. Lee

Laughing Gulls © Val J. Lee

Laughing couples form communities, housing 25,000 pairs or less. A couple of Laughing love birds enjoy company at their nesting door. And they are love birds as Seagulls mate for life. These Laughing colonies also serve to ward off predators. Around a hundred gulls will angrily drive most terrorists away; on occasion, maneuvering them into the sea to drown. No, you do no want to mess with these gulls if you have criminal intentions.

Studies expose a highly developed, complex communication system within the gull family (existing of 28 species), using a wide range of vocalizations and body movements which causes many gulls to move as one, if necessary, to remove anything annoying.

Job 12:7-10 provides us with an education, teaching the birds of the heavens understand God is their Creator and sustainer of life. They know their origin is not held in question:

“But now ask the beasts, and they will teach you;

And the birds of the air, and they will tell you;

Or speak to the earth, and it will teach you;

And the fish of the sea will explain to you.

Who among all these does not know

That the hand of the Lord has done this,

In whose hand is the life of every living thing,

And the breath of all mankind?”

Being quite the architects, a cute Laughing Gull couple will construct a sturdy nest of weeds and grasses on the ground of offshore islands. This, a parenting job they perform together, enjoying each other’s company. Three or four olive-colored eggs with splotches of dark brown are laid. Following three weeks, the embryos emerge. Yearlings are grayer below and display paler heads. Adult plumage is achieved in three years. Male and females appear alike.

Seagulls’ intelligence is observed through their God-provided ingenious, feeding methods … including dropping clams and other shelled mollusks onto rock surfaces, breaking them open. They teach their mature fledglings their maneuverings and other creative hunting cunningness. God cares for all aves and their survival in the wilds of life.

Australia and  New Zealand’s Silver Seagull displays cute polkadots on the tail wings; with the Laughing Gull, you may spot one or two polkadots, as seen in video above.

Laughing Gulls © Val J. Lee

Laughing Gull © Val J. Lee

During the time of fancy hats with their feminine crafted plumage, gull populations plummeted, though they now have wholeheartedly returned. Most birds now thrive under protective laws.

The longest living, known Laughing Gull was at least 22 years old.

Letter to bird enthusiast: https://birdsbyval.wordpress.com/category/uncategorized/letter-to-bird-enthusiast/

In gracious gratitude for the info I gathered from various websites.

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