Posted on Sep 14, 2021 27
Seagulls can be seen all over the world - these birds live everywhere, occurring on all continents and most islands. They sometimes slightly annoy people with their loud and unvoiced voices, as well as their habit of stealing fishers’ catches. But we humans are the ones trespassing on their territory, not they on ours, right?
Facts about seagulls
- These birds readily steal prey and eat the eggs of other birds. They can attack the chicks of other gulls.
- If danger is declared nearby while they are laying eggs or nursing their chicks, the entire colony is in turmoil. Birds soar into the air, circling over the troublemaker, shrilly screaming and trying to pour as much droppings on him as possible.
- Gulls change their nesting places on very rare occasions, mainly because of changes in climate conditions.
- All gulls, from large sea gulls to small gulls, lead to a colonial lifestyle. They settle in large colonies of several tens of thousands of birds.
- The smallest member of the family is the small gull; its weight averages only 100-150 grams. And the largest - the seagull, the weight of an adult, can exceed 2 kilograms.
- Seagulls live around the world, everywhere where water meets the land. They can settle very far from the sea; rivers, lakes and reservoirs are enough for them.
- American herring gulls, the ones you can see in the Alfred Hitchcock movie “The Birds”, can actually be aggressive. There have already been many cases when entire flocks of them attacked people who entered the territory, which these birds consider their own.
- Seagulls do not maintain social relations between species. They not only sometimes eat gulls of other species, but cannibalize from time to time.
- A female lays 2-3 eggs. Both male and female lay a clutch for about a month. If something happens to the eggs, for example, they are eaten by other gulls, the female almost immediately lays new ones.
- These birds are excellent fliers. They can stay in the air for a long time, maneuver perfectly, change the speed of flight, can make abrupt stops, peaks and virtuoso turns.
- You don’t see this often, but seagulls can actually run pretty fast on the ground.
- When hunting for fish, they can dive under the water entirely, headfirst. True, not deep.
- Adults of many species of gulls have distinctive spots on their beaks, which serve as visual reference points for the chicks. In order to convince the adults to belch food for them, the chicks peck at these marks.
- Seagulls can build nests almost anywhere, and from any material. Everything is wonderful for them - grass, feathers, twigs, scraps of nets, cans and other garbage.
- In flight, a sea-gull can reach speeds of up to 110 km/h. These birds have no natural enemies in nature and their average life expectancy reaches 23 years.
- Seagulls are not shy, they are not afraid of people, often even flying up to them to ask for a piece of bun or bread.
- There are about a hundred species of these birds in the world. Ornithologists divide them into 22 genera.
- All species of gulls have webbed feet that help them swim.
- Being seabirds, seagulls are often far from freshwater sources. Because of this, they have special devices on their beaks that allow them to filter salt from water and make it drinkable. Simply put, they, like penguins, can drink salty seawater.
- These birds often look for food at garbage dumps outside the city limits. In recent years, gulls are considered the main trash collectors, especially in winter, so they have become a great competitor to crows living in places where consumer and industrial waste is stored.
- All gulls lead a diurnal lifestyle. All except the Galapagos - these birds are active at night, and they hunt not only fish but also shellfish like small octopuses and starfish.
- These birds molt twice a year. They molt completely in the fall and incompletely in the spring.
- Many species of these birds are classified as migratory. Nesting colonies in Europe and Asia usually migrate south to warmer climes in the winter.
- Gull colonies are often mixed. They readily nest with herons, cormorants, wild ducks, and other birds.