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Larus atricilla  Laughing Gull
These ground-nesting piscivores are coastal, nesting primarily on the barrier islands. The "Possible" records likely are gulls that had commuted from nesting colonies to distant feeding areas. Note: This species, most terns, and skimmers nest mainly along the eastern part of the Louisiana coast because of a greater availability of sandy or shell beach habitat than along the western part of the coast.

photo Copyright 1999 by Dan Lane 
Female or male

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Sterna forsteri  Forster's Tern
In Louisiana, most of these ground-nesting piscivores nest along the coast, although some birds breed around Lake Pontchartrain and at other inland sites. The "Possible" records of skimmers and any tern in this Atlas may represent nonbreeding individuals or birds that have commuted some distance from their breeding colonies to forage. The Forster's Tern is on the Audubon WatchList for Louisiana.

photo Copyright 1999 by Bill Bergen 
female or male

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Sterna nilotica  Gull-billed Tern
Not more than a few hundred of these piscivores nest in Louisiana, some along the coast and some on graveled rooftops in the New Orleans area. The Rooftop nesting of Gull-billed Terns was first described in the Fall 1991 issue of The Journal of Louisiana Ornithology (Vol. 2, pp. 18-20).

photos of rooftop colony (upper) and birds foraging at a city canal Copyright 1999 by Bill Bergen 
front photo Copyright 1999 by R. D. Purrington