Black-headed Gull on the Alabama Coast

Published in 1978

On the clear morning of Thursday, March 30, 1978, at about 7:15, I was scanning the Gulf at Fort Morgan Beach with my 30x B&L spotting scope. About one-quarter mile to the west in perfect light were two large looselyassembled flocks of Laugh i ng and Bonaparte’s Gulls. Almost immediately I spotted in the Laughing Gull flock a bird with Bonaparte’s wing markings. This bird, it soon developed, had the same size, flight and feeding behavior of a Laughing Gull but did not dip daintily or flutter as does t he Bonaparte’s. Further it showed an all-white tail, dark but noticeably reddish bill and legs. and dark on the underside of the primaries as in the Caspian Tern. Behind the eye was a dark smudge. The bird was identified as a wi nter adult Black-headed Gull (Larus ridibundus)–ridibundus means laughing in Latin.

Author: Thomas A. Imhof
Volume Number: 26 Year Published: 1978
Issue Number: 1-2
Page Number: 10

Link to article: 26 No. 1, 2_1978_p10.pdf
Link to the full issue of BirdLife: 26 No. 1, 2_1978.pdf