16 INCH BIRD
This seabird is the only black-headed gull seen in the West Indies in summer. It is a common 16 inch long resident of Antigua with a wing spread of about 42 ins, and may be found near the seashore, also in fields near the marine environment. The bird feeds on small fish swimming near the surface, but it may also take earthworms in fields after a shower of heavy rain. Its call includes a long drawn out hah-ha-ha, like an excited laughing from which its name is derived.
The nest is well built of weeds and grasses on the ground of offshore islands. The 3 or 4 eggs are brown-olive with splotches of brown. After 3 weeks the young are hatched. A bird in a zoo has been known to live nearly 20 years. The bird's range is from Nova Scotia to Trinidad and winters as far south as South America.
Special thanks to the late Desmond Nicholson of the Museum of Antigua & Barbuda and Peter Duce for making this section of Antigua Nice Ltd possible!