Did you know?
-There are more than 50 Gull species in the world.
-like all creatures, Seagulls pass their learnt behaviour on to their offspring but also teach their young various maneuvers and other creative methods of hunting which shows the intelligent ability to pass skills on to others.
-They trick earthworms to the surface by stamping their feet on the ground to imitate rainfall.
-they have learnt to open hard shelled molluscs by dropping them from a higher altitude onto rocks.
-they follow ploughs in the fields where upturned earth provide them with plenty of live food.
-Seagulls, in particular the Heermann’s Gull, are kleptomaniacs that have developed many clever ways of stealing the catch of other seabirds. You’ve may have witnessed it but did not know what was actually going on. The next time you see seagulls hanging around hunting and plunging for food pelicans, spend some time there and watch them. The gulls know that the pelican must drain the water from its beak before it can swallow its catch. During that process the gull will go for any exposed part of the fish and take what it can get until the draining process is completed.
-Seagulls also use their flying skills to pluck fish from birds in flight, or use truly fascinating maneuvers to pester them until they drop the food which the gull will catch before it hits the water…However crows will do the same to them 🙂
-They are monogamous creatures that mate for life and rarely divorce.
-They have a strong social structure that works very effectively against predators that intrude into their breeding colonies, as they will gang up on the intruder with up to a hundred gulls and drive them away, on occasion even driving them out to sea to drown.
-they take turns incubating the eggs, and are attentive parents feeding and protecting the chicks.
-young gulls form nursery flocks where they will play and learn vital skills for adulthood. Nursery flocks are watched over by a few adult males and these flocks will remain together until the birds are old enough to breed.
-studies have shown that Gulls have a complex and highly developed repertoire for communication which includes a range of vocalisations and body movements.
-they can drink both fresh and salt water. Most animals are unable to do this, but seagulls have a special pair of glands right above their eyes which is specifically designed to flush the salt from their systems through openings in the bill.
-Seagulls have a excellent vision which is way better than human vision. They are one of the few birds with eyes that can move in their sockets
-Seagulls have learned to conserve energy by hovering over bridges in order to absorb raising heat from paved roadways
-Gulls vary in diversity from the smallest gull being 29 cm and weighing 120 g,
and the largest being the Great Black-beaked Gull being 75 cm and weighing 1.75 kg.
-The Seagull has become the state bird of Seagulls Utah after they have helped the Mormon settlers to deal with a plague of crickets. A monument in Salt Lake City commemorates the event, known as the ‘Miracle of the Gulls’.
-In Native American symbolism, the seagull represents a carefree attitude, versatility, and freedom.
Seagulls are fun to watch and fun to study as a birdwatcher if you’re into that sort of thing. Once you’ve identified all the species around the beach, you will still find more, around because they seem to cover most of the Sea of Cortez from end to end and drop in on each other from time to time. 😉
Ready to go Herring gull chick: