Sea Gulls

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About Sea Gulls

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Seagull

Here in Manatee County most people see sea gulls every day at one place or another.  Did you know there are 40 different types of birds that are referred to as sea gulls?  If you have ever had a picnic on the beach, you will know that sea gulls are not shy and are known to actually harass humans to feed them. 

 

Gulls, regardless of what type, have a few physical characteristics in common.  All have long bills and wings.  And of course, all have webbed feet!  Most are white in color with various shades of black or grey on their bodies. 

 

Gulls live near coastal areas, but they can also be found inland.  They live in groups, which are called colonies.  It is common for the colonies of gulls to sleep together in an area where they will not be disturbed by humans.

 

What do they eat?  Gulls like to each fish, insects worms, and anything they can get from humans!  Sometimes they even steal human food that has been thrown away right out of the trash cans.  This is why they can be found hanging around fishing boats, picnic grounds, garbage dumps and parking lots where they can easily find food.  Some people even think of gulls as little garbage patrols that can sometimes become a nuisance, but gulls are important to our ecosystem by picking up litter which could cause a health problem to people. 

 

Sea gulls especially like seafood, like clams.  It can be a pretty funny sight to see the gulls work to open the clam shells.  The shells are too hard for them to break with their beaks so the gulls carry the clams over rocks and drop them down to crack them open.  Then they are ready to get the tasty clams out of the shells.  Yum.  A tasty treat!  Only a really smart bird would think to use the rocks to open the shells.

 

 

Sea Gull Trivia

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  • Gulls are very clever and pass on their tricks for getting food to their young.  They work as a team and stamp their feet to imitate rainfall, which is a trick they use to get earthworms to come to the surface! 
  • Gulls also will follow a plough into a field where they know the tool will bring their food to the top of the soil by the farmer.  Good idea!
  • Gulls use a large range of vocal sounds and body movements to communicate with each other.
  • They have a small claw halfway up their lower leg that makes it easy for them to sit on high ledges without getting blown off.
  • Because gulls have a special gland that flushes salt out of their bodies through their bills, they can drink salt water.  The glands are above the bird's eyes.
  • Gulls make great parents by taking turns incubating the eggs before the babies are hatched.  They work together to fee and protect the babies. 
  • There is no divorce in the sea gull world.  The bird couple stays together for life.