Your Florida Backyard NSiS Home Page Your Florida Backyard Gulls & Terns
Photographs on this page courtesy of SFWMD
Of the nine species of gulls regularly found in Florida, only Laughing Gulls breed here. Laughing Gulls are most common in coastal areas but are also found inland, including in urban areas. They nest in large colonies. Concealed nests are built on the ground under vegetation.
Ring-billed Gull populations are greatly reduced during the summer months. They are found in both coastal and inland areas. They are often seen in parking lots with Laughing Gulls.
royal tern Forster's Terns are found in salt- and freshwater areas. They are most common during the winter.
Royal Terns inhabit beaches. They nest colonially, primarily along the Gulf Coast from Yankeetown to Charlotte Harbor.
Many other less common terns are permanent residents and warm season visitors. The Least and Roseate Terns are threatened species. In the late 1800's and early 1900's these species were decimated by plume hunters. Since then, disturbance to and destruction of their coastal breeding areas have posed serious threats.

name area season diet/native food plants
Laughing Gull
NCSSpSuFW-Baquatic invertebrates*, garbage, insects, fish
Ring-billed Gull
NCSSpSuFWfish, insects, rodents, garbage, seeds
cabbage palm
Forster's TernNCSSpSuFWfish*, insects
Royal TernNCSSpSuFW-Bfish*, aquatic invertebrates
N=north  C=central  S=south
Sp=spring  Su=summer  F=fall  W=winter
B=breeds in Florida during season(s) underlined  M=Migrant

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