110 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
By Lynn Bowen
posted Oct 7, 2012 - 9:20:46am
Florida's beautiful beaches as seen by gulls that soar
Are golden sand, sparkling sea, and waves lapping the shore.
Gazing and dreaming are free. Sunrises count each day,
To be a carefree laughing gull and glide on breezes and watch the happenings below must be a thrill. Gulls see the sun, sea, surf and sand. They watch surfers, swimmers, joggers, hikers, children building sandcastles, folks tanning on towels, and lovers sharing a kiss. Feathered friends like ring-billed gulls, sandpipers, ruddy turnstones, royal terns and brown pelicans fly there also. Everyone looks happy!
Laughing gulls stay healthy and happy with their instinctive way of foraging for food. These birds are scavengers, and will eat fish, invertebrates, insects, or snacks from people.
A laughing gull is 16.5 inches long, weighs 11 ounces, and has a 40-inch wingspan. Its wings are swept back and pointed, making flying so effortless. Laughing gulls have white plumage on their necks and undersides and medium-gray feathers on their backs. Males are slightly larger than females, with larger and deeper bills.
At breeding time, which is March through September, the bird's head becomes a handsome black, showing that he or she is ready to breed. The gray-black bill and legs become a very attractive red-orange.
Laughing gulls live in coastal areas of North America and south to northern South America. Their call is a high-pitched ha...ha...ha, which sounds like laughing, so we know how they got their happy name. It calls "come hither" to gulls and people alike.
— Bowen lives in DeLand. Send email to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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