Seagull


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*Seagulls are scavengers. They will eat almost anything. These birds have learned life is easier if they hang out around humans. Seagulls can be quite a nuisance, however we have to give these birds some credit: they are smart enough to know where food is plentiful. Humans feed them and they stick around for the grub. If you’ve ever been to any shore point on the East Coast you know exactly what I am talking about. For example, in Wildwood, NJ, they will swoop down and steal a French fry right out of your cup. Yes, that is while you are holding the container of fries. People who visit this shore points quickly learn to protect their food. It is currently against regulations in a lot of East Coast shore points to feed these birds for this reason. The more we feed them, the more they will stick around.

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Feeding seagulls can be a lot of fun. It is really cool to see them swoop down and grab the grub in mid-air, however, be advised they have poor toilet habits and will do their business whenever they feel the urge. Yes, it’s very common for them to drop their waste on you at any given moment. Tourists love to feed—it’s fun and fascinating; locals on the other hand have to deal with these birds daily and pretty much consider them a messy nuisance.

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> Gulls are, in general, medium to large birds, typically gray or white, often with black markings on the head or wings. They have stout, longish bills and webbed feet

Seagull Food: Most gulls, particularly Larus species, are ground nesting carnivores, which will take live food or scavenge opportunistically (often leading them to piles of garbage). The live food often includes crabs and small fish.

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Land Lovebirds: Apart from the kittiwakes, gulls are typically coastal or inland species, rarely venturing
far out to sea. The large species take up to four years to attain full adult plumage,but two years is typical for small gulls.

Ain’t No Bird Brain: Gulls—the larger species in particular
—are resourceful and highly intelligent birds, demonstrating complex methods of communication and a highly-developed social structure. Certain species (e.g. the Herring Gull) have exhibited tool use behavior. Many species of gull have learned to co-exist successfully with man and have thrived in human habitats.

To Tree, Or Not To Tree… This species breeds colonially near water or in marshes, making a lined nest on the ground or in a tree.

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Species List:

* American Herring Gull, Larus smithsonianus
* Andean Gull, Larus serranus
* Armenian Gull, Larus armenicus
* Audouin’s Gull, Larus audouinii
* Belcher’s Gull, Larus belcheri
* Black-billed Gull, Larus bulleri
* Black-headed Gull, Larus ridibundus
* Black-tailed Gull, Larus crassirostris
* Bonaparte’s Gull, Larus philadelphia
* Brown-headed Gull, Larus brunnicephalus
* Brown-hooded Gull, Larus maculipennis
* California Gull, Larus californicus
* Caspian Gull, Larus cachinnans
* Common Gull or Mew Gull, Larus canus
* Dolphin Gull, Larus scoresbii
* East Siberian Herring Gull, Larus vegae
* Franklin’s Gull, Larus pipixcan
* Glaucous Gull, Larus hyperboreus
* Glaucous-winged Gull, Larus glaucescens
* Great Black-backed Gull, Larus marinus
* Great Black-headed Gull, Larus ichthyaetus
* Grey Gull, Larus modestus
* Grey-headed Gull, Larus cirrocephalus
* Hartlaub’s Gull, Larus hartlaubii
* Heermann’s Gull, Larus heermanni
* Herring Gull, Larus argentatus
* Heuglin’s Gull, Larus heuglini
* Iceland Gull, Larus glaucoides
* Ivory Gull, Pagophila eburnea
* Kelp Gull, Larus dominicanus
* Kittiwake or Black-legged Kittiwake, Rissa tridactyla
* Red-legged Kittiwake, Rissa brevirostris
* Laughing Gull, Larus atricilla
* Lava Gull, Larus fuliginosus
* Lesser Black-backed Gull, Larus fuscus
* Little Gull, Larus minutus
* Mediterranean Gull, Larus melanocephalus
* Olrog’s Gull, Larus atlanticus
* Pacific Gull, Larus pacificus
* Red-billed Gull, Larus scopulinus
* Relict Gull, Larus relictus
* Ring-billed Gull, Larus delawarensis
* Ross’s Gull, Rhodostethia rosea
* Sabine’s Gull, Xema sabini
* Saunders’ Gull, Larus saundersi
* Silver Gull, Larus novaehollandiae
* Slaty-backed Gull, Larus schistisagus
* Slender-billed Gull, Larus genei
* Sooty Gull, Larus hemprichii
* Swallow-tailed Gull, Creagrus furcatus
* Thayer’s Gull, Larus thayeri
* Western Gull, Larus occidentalis
* White-eyed Gull, Larus leucophthalmus
* Yellow-footed Gull, Larus livens
* Yellow-legged Gull, Larus michahellis

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9 responses to “Seagull

  1. I like the first picture a lot – good capture.

    Re seagulls, you’re right they are a nuisance in many ways, but just plain lovely in their very existence at the beach, in other ways.

    I once was court reporting and this man who was mugged at a bus stop said the offender asked if he had a cigarette. When he pulled out the pack, his gang dived in “like seagulls on fish and chips” I can never, never forget him saying. I could SO picture it. You just reminded me of that!

    Great write, and photos.

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