The relative scarcity of gulls in the tropics is something that has not escaped the attention of ornithologists. It appears there is no clear-cut answer. A nice read on several hypotheses about the absence of gulls in tropics (you asked for it Northern Coast Diver! ): (https://ekroc.weebly.com/blog/a-world-of-laridae-gulls-in-the-tropics
}. The most plausible hypothesis to me seems gulls can’t handle the heat, so they don’t like breeding here. The Laughing Gull is the only resident breeding gull here. The rest are just visitors, for now.
Field Guides I Use
Cornell Lab Merlin
bird id app – Out in the field it is handy to be able to pull up bird songs and calls. Has photo and sound id capability which is rapidly improving. This has different bird packs you can load based on your location – Caribbean, US and Canada Continental, etc.
Princeton Field Guides: Birds of the Dominican Republic and Haiti - Steven Latta, et al.
Princeton Field Guides: Birds of the West Indies – Raffaele, et al.
The Sibley Guide to Birds – David Allen Sibley - This is a USA guide, but many species overlap. Super helpful with tricky migrant shorebirds, gulls, terns, and warblers. Illustrations are superb and detailed.
For all birders out there this Saturday, October 8 is Ebird’s worldwide bird counting day. Let’s represent. (https://ebird.org/news/october-big-day-2022#:~:text=Mark your calendars for October,birds to bring people together
Also Birds Caribbean has a write up about this event: https://www.birdscaribbean.org/2022/10/october-big-day-2022-is-september-8th-2022-join-us/