Gulls popularly referred to as sea gulls, have long been associated with sea coasts, though these species have been significantly noticed to inhabit the lands more than water. They are more easily seen plundering the landfills and agricultural lands than coastlines, where they basically build their nests. Gulls are more commonly found in the northern hemispheres and are a less likely sight in the southern part of the equator. Typically white breasted with darker backs, gulls usually soar and glide high above, their rather harsh calls or ‘laughs’ being associated with coasts and offshore waters. They generally belong to the genus Larus, originating from the Greek word laros, meaning “a sea bird”. Gulls are basically seen as a nuisance and are much disliked because of their smelly droppings. They usually gather in large flocks to breed during the mating season. As for the habitat, gulls usually construct their nests in shallow scrapes close to vegetation areas. For more interesting facts and amazing information on this class of aves, read on.
Weight: 900- 1250 gm.
Lifespan: 30 years
Diet: Fishes, insects, worms, mice, young birds, bird eggs, seaweed and berries
Habitat: Coastlines of oceans, bays and major lakes
Gestation Period: 27 days
Number of Offspring: 2-3 eggs
Interesting & Amazing Information On Gull
- Most gulls hover over freshly plowed fields for upturned grubs, while others drop hard-shelled mollusks onto rocks to break them open and devour.
- Gulls have the ability to flush excessive salt from their bodies through openings in the bill.
- Did you know that many species of gulls are ‘kleptoparisitic’? This means that the birds steal their food from other birds to feed themselves.
- Some gulls live up to 20 or more years.
- Seagulls are affectionate parents and take turns in incubating eggs while nesting.
- Most notorious of gulls are known to frequently mob penguins and rob them off their food and also harass other birds of their catches.
- The chicks of most species of gulls like Herring Gull and Black-backed Gull peck the bills of their parent gulls, when hungry for food.
- Sea Gulls, as they are popularly called, are basically scavengers that help in conserving energy by hovering over bridges to absorb the rising heat from the paved roadway.
- Gulls have always been a part of Native American symbols and denote freedom and versatility.
- Herring Gull flocks have a loose pecking order, based on size, aggressiveness, and physical strength.
- Young flocks of gulls play and learn vital preying skills that are required for adulthood.
- Seagulls can drink both salt and fresh water.
- Did you know gulls have a second claw halfway up their leg to help them maintain their balance without being blown off by the wind.
- Gulls usually have a complex and highly-developed mode of communication and use both calls and body language to communicate.
- Although it may be difficult to differentiate between two calls of a gull, they may vary according to the posture of the head, body, wings and tail of the calling gull.
- A group of gulls has many collective nouns, including a "flotilla", "gullery", "screech", "scavenging", and "squabble" of gulls.
- The eggs of gulls begin to hatch after 27 days, with some surviving and others dying as a result of avian cannibalism.
- Gulls are monogamous meaning they have only one mate.
- It is interesting to know that a male gull dominates the female and young ones for food, while the female dominates the male for nesting.
- Gulls are very noisy and are much known for their yodeling calls or ‘laughs’ that ranges from ha-ha-ha to hiyak-hiyak, yuk-yuk and more.
- There is a great deal of diversity between gull species, the smallest one being the Little Gull and the largest being the Great Black-beaked Gull.
- The larger black beaked gulls are primarily from Europe and so are the smaller species, the Little Gull.