Maybe you have been a victim of their food-snatching ways or, worse yet, you have been caught in the crossfire of a flock’s “bombing” from above. Sure, The Little Mermaid’s Scuttle and the seagulls of Finding Nemo fame (“Mine, mine, mine!”) seem harmless enough; but, chances are, if you have had an encounter with seagulls in their natural habitat, it might not have been an entirely pleasant one. So, in defense of seagulls everywhere, we’re here to tell you a bit more about these feathered critters. You might be surprised to find out what intelligent, resourceful and beautiful creatures they actually are! PHOTO Cartoon of seagulls overhead.
Description: There are many different species of gulls, all commonly referred to as seagulls. They range drastically in size, though most are similar in coloring (gray and white with black markings on their heads and wings). Seagulls have longish bills, webbed feet and a characteristic squawking call. Lifespan is 5-15 years. Notably, seagulls have developed both complex methods of communication and a strict social structure.
Diet: Seagulls are scavengers. Crabs and small fish make up a large part of their diet; however, seagulls are extremely opportunistic and have been known to make meals out of most anything they can get!
Habitat: Seagull species are mostly ground-nesting, coastal birds, sometimes being found inland but rarely venturing far out to sea. They can be found all over the world and are known to often live many miles from where they spend their days.
Getting Along: Many seagull species have learned to coexist peacefully and comfortably with humans. In fact, seagulls are in many ways beneficial to human populations;Utah honors the gull as its state bird because they ate hordes of crickets that were destroying crops in the 1800s. Seagulls also clean our beaches, eating things that wash up from the waters (dead squid and other sea life) as well as items left behind by us! Here are some tips to ensure friendly existence with seagulls:
- Do not feed seagulls.
- Always keep food items securely sealed and stowed out of reach of hungry gulls.
- Pick up and dispose of all trash when in outdoor areas.