Gulls or seagulls are seabirds of the family Laridae in the sub-order Lari. They are most closely related to the terns and only distantly related to auks, skimmers, and more distantly to the waders.
Fast Facts about Gulls
1. Smallest species of seagulls can reach 11.5 inches in length and 4.2 ounces of weight. Large species can reach 30 inches in length and 3.8 pounds of weight.
2. Seagulls are very clever. They learn, remember and even pass on behaviours, such as stamping their feet in a group to imitate rainfall and trick earthworms to come to the surface.
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3. Larger seagulls often live near the ocean and nest on rocky islets, but the mew gull not only nests inland, but in the tops of trees. Unlike most “white-headed” gull species, mew gulls lack any markings on their bill. The mew gull is commonly identified by its dovelike appearance and the harsh call that gives it its name.
4. Body of most seagulls is covered with white plumage. Wingtips are usually black or dark in color. Some species are grey or entirely white.
5. Seagulls aren’t afraid of humans. In fact, they can be really aggressive if you have food. They’ll swoop down to steal a bite, shrieking and squawking.
6. Seagull has strong body, elongated legs and webbed feet. Beak is slightly hooked and usually yellow in color.
7. Seagulls use wide repertoire of sounds and body language for communication. They live in colonies that consist of few pairs of birds or couple of thousands birds.
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8. Depending on the species, female can lay one, two or three dark brown or olive green eggs. Incubation period lasts 22 to 26 days. Fathers play very important role in feeding of chicks. Young birds live in nursery flocks where they learn all skill required for independent life.
9. Even though they live in large colonies, breeding couple occupies and defends its territory from the nearby couples.
10. Lifespan of seagulls depends on the species. Most seagulls can survive from 10 to 15 years in the wild.