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Laughing gulls are hatching - The Galveston County Daily News: Outdoors

December 8, 2016

Laughing gulls are hatching

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Posted: Wednesday, May 28, 2014 10:57 am

CORRECTION: The "black-headed gulls" mentioned and pictured here actuality are laughing gull, colloquially, but incorrectly, referred to as black headed gull, which nest mainly in Europe and Asia and can migrate as far as the U.S. east coast.

The black-headed gull is one of the most common birds in our marshes. Many of the islands and oyster reefs in Galveston Bay are currently occupied by flocks of squawking gulls, soaring in a wall of defense when a boat or person approaches too closely.

The watchfulness is fueled by the birds' instinct to protect their eggs and hatchlings. Their eggs are laid in nests on the ground and are subject to poaching by predators, as well as being vulnerable to a human boot.

The black-headed gull actuality has a dark brown head. It is a noisy bird distinguishable by its familiar "kree-ar" call.