When we talk about marine life, the things that come into our mind are primarily the ones living inside the ocean such as fish, octopus, jellyfish, and other marine life. But upon careful inspection, we can realize that the sea is also connected with a lot of other animals, which are not living inside the water, but rather outside of it. One such amazing creature is known to be the Seagull, popular as the boldest bird out there. This article will signify all about the life of a Seagull.
The Boldest Seabird: All About Seagull
Seagulls are one of the water birds that live near the coasts of almost every region, including areas like Antarctica.
Seagulls were originally related to the family of Skimmers and terns. They are in some cases, also slightly related to the auks. As more information about the origin of this beautiful bird was uncovered, it was added to the Larus genus. Currently, Seagull is classified under the umbrella of polyphyletic, which means its origin is from multiple evolutionary descendants.
The Scientific name of the Seagull is Larus Argentatus. This name originated from the Latin words, where Larus stands for gulls and Argentatus represents “decorated with silver”. It belongs to the Class Aves, classified under the Phylum Chordata. The Chordata Phylum came under the Kingdom Animalia, which is a part of Eukaryotic cell organisms.
Seagulls have staggering appearances due to big beaks, long wings, and bulky bodies, covered with black, brown, or white plumage. They also have webbed feet designed by nature to make it viable for both land and water. The Seagull’s legs are thin, strong, and long, connected directly to its femur.
Their legs can have brown, black, or dark red color, which can act as claws to grasp things easily. Their beats are often a little bit hooked while having a yellow color with a red dot on it. An average Seagull length is 10 to 12 inches, with a weight of about 65 to 165 grams. They can have an average age of up to 30 years
Nature and Habitat
Seagulls are some of the smartest flying creatures. Although they look innocent, they are adaptable to their surroundings. They are found in the seashores of the areas including the edges of Antarctica and most of other coasts around the globe. They often migrate to warmer areas as the seasons change at their location. Seagulls are so smart that they can even drop shells from a certain height to beak and eat them.
Screaming is also one of the natural behaviors of Seagulls, as they can produce 20-plus different notes to communicate with other species. The longest scream a Seagull produces is known as the long call. It can have around 25+ different sound notes, making it one of the most complex sounds a bird can make. A Seagull starts with lower notes and a head tilted downward, then slowly rises the head and the notes.
Only in America, there are less than 250,000 pairs of Seagulls found. The numbers are drastically low compared to the previously recorded data. Although, around the globe, there are still millions of Seagulls have been found. They are now also classified as Urban Birds due to 75% of their population being located in Urban areas.
Prey and Predator
Seagulls are one of the few animals that consume a lot of different items. These carnivorous birds eat fish, rodents, molluscs, and insects. In some cases, they also consume small mammals and plants too. Seagulls are amazing at trapping and catching their prey, as they sometimes use other food items to lure their prey and then catch them.
In terms of Predators, Seagulls are often not bothered by most animals but there are still animals like cats, eagles, and foxes who eat their eggs and babies. Some big predators such as eagles are also able to hunt adult Seagulls when needed.
For Seagulls, they are currently not endangered, as they are found in millions in almost every region. You can even find them on the chilling coasts of Antarctica. But despite this large population, there has been a considerable decrease in their population over the past few years. Also, some of its species are now endangered, including Black-billed Gulls, which are added to the red list of endangered species.
Mating & Reproduction
Seagulls’ mating season comes once a year, which is from March to April. After mating, both male and female Seagulls work together to set up a nest, which is usually on a rocky place near the coast or at a little bit-heightened place. The nest can be made up of grass and small twigs, and the pair lays their eggs on the very same nest, every year.
Seagulls are loyal to their partner and will stay with each other their whole life. A female Seagull lays 1 to 3 eggs per year between April to May. Then both partners will incubate by taking turns and taking care of the eggs till they hatch. After hatching, they will take care of the baby Seagulls till they are ready to fly.
Fun Fact: Seagulls can transmit the skills they learned to the next generation naturally.
Types of Species
Around the globe, there are more than 50 species of Seagulls out there. Here are the most famous Seagulls types:
The Black-Backed Gull: Famous as the king of the Atlantic waterfront, this Seagull has beautiful black wings covering its back. It is the biggest Seagull in the world, and it also shows this dominance by harassing and stealing other birds’ food. It is found in the subtropical region extending towards Antarctica.
Laughing Gull: This name was given after the sound of the scream this spectacular gull uses to call out its mates which is similar to ha..ha..ha sound. They are located on the coasts of South America, North America, and also near the Caribbean coasts. These gulls are medium-sized with long legs and wings.
Yellow-Legged Gull: The recently recognized gull is a large-sized gull with prominent yellow legs. It is fairly common in North Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and nearby coastal areas. They have very distinct fur from the other species, with a black and gray color.
European Herring Gull: These noisy gulls are found across the Europe coasts and are decently aggressive around people, especially if they are eating something. They have gray backs with white underparts, and also have a red spot on their beaks.
Iceland Gull: This average-sized gull is found in the areas near Greenland and Canada. They are also found in Iceland but only during the winter season. Its light gray feathers on the back distinguish it from the rest of the Seagulls.
Seagulls are some of the most amazing creatures out there. The Boldest Seabird truly earned its title due to its instinctively smart behavior. These gulls are found everywhere(almost) in the world. They even fly to areas like Antarctica and other cold coastal regions. Seagulls eat things like fish, rodents, and other similar things as they are carnivorous birds. The Seagulls slowly adapted to the Urban areas too, which makes it eligible to classify as Urban birds too. Overall, this smart and intuitive bird is lurking out proving the fact that nature can have such amazing creatures.