By Jan Baumgartner
Laughing gull (Leucophaeus atricilla)
As you explore Siesta Key’s three public beaches this holiday season, guard your snacks carefully. The laughing gull, perhaps more than any other, looks for opportunities to help itself — even stealing a morsel right out of your hand! If the ruse is successful, the clever thief’s mocking call is sure to follow —Ha-ha-ha- haaa-haaa-haaa — indicating the joke is on you.
Temptations of human food aside, the laughing gull’s paleo diet includes small fish, crustaceans, insects and worms. The freshest seafood needs neither gift wrap nor bow to be properly appreciated by this jovial pair! As you gather your flock and bid 2022 farewell — from our nest to yours — we wish you a joyous and bountiful holiday season.