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Thread: Laughing Gull or Franklin's Gull?

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    BPN Member Dawn Currie's Avatar
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    Default Laughing Gull or Franklin's Gull?

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    Found this guy strutting along the shore at Sebastian Inlet State Park in central Florida. Other birds in the immediate area included Herring Gulls, Ring-billed Gulls, and Terns. I've got him narrowed down to either a Laughing Gull or Franklin's Gull. Please help.

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    Forum Participant John Chardine's Avatar
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    Hi Dawn- You have narrowed it down to the correct two species. I am going to say Laughing Gull because of the biggish, droopy bill, and relatively small white spots on the primaries. The white eye ring reminds me of a Franklins but I'm sticking to Laughing.

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    BPN Member Dawn Currie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Chardine View Post
    Hi Dawn- You have narrowed it down to the correct two species. I am going to say Laughing Gull because of the biggish, droopy bill, and relatively small white spots on the primaries. The white eye ring reminds me of a Franklins but I'm sticking to Laughing.
    Thank you so much for the ID assistance and the additional information.

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    BPN Member Paul Guris's Avatar
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    I agree that it's Laughing for the reasons John mentioned. The eye crescents are normal for Laughing and would be more obvious on Franklin's.
    Paul A. Guris
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    Forum Participant Jeff Cashdollar's Avatar
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    The darker primary tips do it for me - I go with the team on this one. In flight, the Franklin's Gull differs from the similar Laughing Gull by a white bar and large white tips on primaries and a paler surface on the underwings primaries.

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    BPN Member WIlliam Maroldo's Avatar
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    Default Frankins Gull

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    I took this picture of a Franklin's gull the other day. It was with a bunch a laughing gulls, and side by side the difference was obvious. It also had a rose tint to the white chest feathers, that was totally absent from the laughing gulls standing right next to it, so it wasn't just the lighting. They are not common at all here on the gulf-coast. Location; Texas City Dike, 3-30-2011. regards~Bill
    Last edited by WIlliam Maroldo; 04-07-2011 at 01:21 AM.

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    BPN Member allanrube's Avatar
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    For me the bill tells me it is laughing. I think of a post I saw on hawk identification. It said if you are not sure it is probably a red-tailed hawk, meaning there are so many more rth than others.
    Perhaps it is only because of where I travel, but is is the same with laughing and Franklin. If you are not sure it is probably laughing.

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    BPN Member Dawn Currie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WIlliam Maroldo View Post
    I took this picture of a Franklin's gull the other day. It was with a bunch a laughing gulls, and side by side the difference was obvious. It also had a rose tint to the white chest feathers, that was totally absent from the laughing gulls standing right next to it, so it wasn't just the lighting. They are not common at all here on the gulf-coast. Location; Texas City Dike, 3-30-2011. regards~Bill
    Bill - Thank you so much for this photo. It really highlights the differences I need to look for in the future.

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