Smile! The world is a beautiful place (^_^)


A Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus), photographed outside St Petersburg, Russia a few weeks ago

It got its scientific name “rudibundus” which means “laughing” even though its cry doesn’t sound like laughing. The background story to the name is that when Linné named it, he used information from Ornithologia (written by Brisson in 1760) because the Black-headed gull didn’t breed in Sweden at the time so Linné wasn’t very familiar with it. In Ornithologia, Brisson described the Black-headed gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus) and the Laughing Gull (Leucophaeus atricilla) as sub-species of the same art (Gavis ridibunda). Unlike the Black-headed gull though, the Laughing gull’s cry does sound like laughing- despite missing “rudibundus” in its scientific name.

If you only get a quick look at one of these gulls and want to know which one you saw, it might help you to know that the Black-headed Gull lives in Europe and Asia and the Laughing Gull in North and South America.


10 responses

  1. A bank-robber gull?

    June 14, 2015 at 4:10 PM

  2. Superb Shot Camilla! 🙂

    June 15, 2015 at 12:44 PM

  3. What a great image, and great looking gull!

    June 16, 2015 at 4:49 AM

  4. Great photo! I loved listening to the laughing gulls when I lived on the east coast of North America – we don’t have them here in the Pacific Northwest – too bad. This gull is quite handsome!

    June 17, 2015 at 3:39 AM

    • Thanks Lynn! I think so too! 🙂 I hope one day I get to see (and hear) a Laughing Gull too.

      June 21, 2015 at 5:35 PM

  5. Beautifully captured Camilla!

    June 21, 2015 at 7:06 PM

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