Laughing Bird Caye is an island off the coast of Placencia, Belize. On 21 December 1991, Laughing Bird Caye National Park was declared. It is spread over an area of 1.8 acres (0.73 ha). The national park is named after the laughing gull which breeds there.
Laughing Bird Caye is an island located only 11 miles off the coast of Placencia Village in the Stann Creek District of Belize on the western side of Victoria Channel. The precise GPS coordinates of the island is 16°27' North latitude and 88°12' West longitude. Laughing Bird Caye is also the southern most island in the central lagoon of the Belize Barrier Reef.
Laughing Bird Caye is a long island that sits on an unusually long narrow ridge of reef called a faro. A faro is an angular atoll on a continental shelf, which is also called a shelf atoll. Similar to other atolls, a faro has a steep drop off and has a central lagoon enclosed in the reef. This Laughing Bird Faro is separated from the mainland and the barrier reef by deep channels all around the faro.
Laughing Bird Caye is a unique island structure in which its uniqueness adds to the variety and abundance of coral habitats and marine life. This island is referred to as Laughing Bird Caye from the Laughing Gull or Larus artricilla. It was named after this bird because they use to breed on the island, however, due to an increase in human interaction on the island the Laughing Gulls have moved to other islands that are more deserted and less affected by human presence. The uniqueness of the island, the Faro, and the abundant and diversity of coral and marine habitats has led to the Caye being declared as a protected area in 1981 under the National Park Systems Act. Then, Laughing Bird Caye was declared as a National park on 21 December 1991. The Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System was then registered on the World Heritage List in 1996 with The Laughing Bird National Park designated as one of the premiere protected areas within the World Heritage Site.