Mystery Bird: Laughing Gull, Larus atricilla

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[Mystery bird] Laughing Gull, Larus atricilla, photographed at East Grand Terre Island, Louisiana.

Image: Charlie Riedel, 3 June 2010 [larger view].

Please name at least one field mark that supports your identification.

Here's what this bird would look like without its lovely coating of oil:

Laughing Gull, Larus atricilla, photographed at Bolivar Flats Shorebird Sanctuary, Texas.

Image: Joseph Kennedy, 7 April 2009 [larger view].

Nikon D200, Kowa 883 telescope with TSN-PZ camera eyepiece 1/1250s f/8.0 at 1000.0mm iso400.

This CBS video is raw footage that shows today's mystery bird (above), along with others. I admit that I almost vomited when the waves flipped this poor bird (pictured at top) onto its back, leaving it to flail its feet at the sky while it tried to right itself in vain.

(This bird reportedly survived long enough to be cleaned. I've repeatedly tweeted IBRRC to find out how this particular bird is doing now, but they've not answered. This lack of a response makes me worry about the bird's health).

More raw footage:

Today's mystery birds are dedicated to the executives of British Petroleum, a group of ultra-rich, self-congratulatory and arrogant monsters who are paid far in excess of their ethical capabilities, intellectual abilities or merit; men who wreak destruction everywhere they go in pursuit of ever-greater profits, the god-almighty dollar, blinded by their greed to the plight of thousands of people who lose their livelihoods and millions of animals who die slow and horrible deaths. It is environmental disasters such as these that make me wish there was a hell for these corporate men and their minions to reside in for all eternity because there is no science, no technology, no remedy, no punishment, no punitive damages, that can restore life to even a single one of these beings.

On the other hand, perhaps you would like to help these animals?

Review all mystery birds to date.

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Grrl, you are right - greed is the evil that has caused this catastrophe. This could be the beginning of the end.

Thank you for providing the link to donate to Audubon - I followed the link and in 60 seconds had made a donation to help the affected birds. Please, everyone, make a donation, even if it's only a few dollars. Send what you can.

My next job is to examine my life to learn how I can reduce my own use of petroleum products. We are all responsible for contributing to the thirst for oil.

Pictures like this make me wish I did believe in hell, so that Tony Hayward and his avaricious cronies could spend an eternity or two in its deepest circle.

By Pete Moulton (not verified) on 04 Jun 2010 #permalink

That does give me an idea of what to do with the BP executives.

Did you know that following Exxon Valdez, Exxon became the largest, richest corporation with the highest profits ever, in the history of all of humanity? I suppose this means that now is the time to buy stock in BP.

wow, beating out the soulless bastards at microsoft by earning more profits is quite a feat. meanwhile, the humans among us don't own televisions; most of us eat vegetarian; buy locally; refuse to own cars; bicycle, walk or use mass transit to get around, and generally try to get by on less (which, considering how many of us have been thrown out of work in order to preserve ever-increasing corporate profit margins, is a requirement anymore), while these selfish pricks only get richer, and demand that average taxpayers fund their fuck-ups.

Damn. I knew in my heart you were going to do this and I didn't want to click...but threw caution to the wind.

Having seen the image previously, I LOL'ed when I saw this in my RSS reader because I was thinking how much harder it would be to identify (not that I can identify many species anyway).

Then it made me sad for laughing.

Looks like I'm gonna start taking the bus.