Call them what you will, I believe every one of us would have had a run in with gulls at some point in our life – whether or not it was a good or bad experience will be very different though for each of us.
Seagulls are always present in any seaside town I find myself in and guaranteed I will hear their unique cries from afar long before I actually see them.
Surprisingly (for me at least) I recently came across some interesting seagull related information, which I thought would be worth sharing with you all.
- Gulls or Seagulls – most people tend to incorrectly call all gulls as seagulls. This is incorrect. Quite a few species of gulls actually inhabit inland and they very rarely fly far out to sea either.
- Not all gulls are pests – just like not all birds are pests. I imagine homes and businesses in coastal towns would consider gulls as a real pest but the vast majority of species inhabit the wild without clashing with people. Spare a thought for the residents of a New Jersey townhouse development having to cope with a recent influx of thousands of seagulls – the development looks like a scene out of The Birds. They could certainly do with some urgent seagull control solutions! Only a small number of gulls species are recognised as being pest birds — Greater black–backed gull, the Lesser black–backed gull and the Herring gull.
- Seagulls can drink both fresh and salt water. Apparently most animals could not survive drinking just sea water / saltwater but seagulls have a special pair of glands right above their eyes which help to flush out the salt from their system. This ability makes it possible for them to spend days out at sea without the need to return to land for fresh water.
- Bonaparte’s Gull – the name of this particular species caught my attention. Who would name a gull after Napoleon? but actually this gull is named after his nephew, Charles Lucien Bonaparte, who apparently was an influential ornithologist in the 1800s. More strangely though, this is only one of a very few species of gull that prefer to nest in trees.
- State bird of Utah – the California gull, Larus californicus, is the state bird of Utah. Seagulls are remembered in Utah for helping the Mormon settlers deal with a plague of crickets. A monument in Salt Lake City commemorates the event, known as the ‘Miracle of the Gulls’.
- Seagull guitars – ever heard of these? Well, you will have if you are a guitar enthusiast. Seagull is a Canadian company that produces hand crafted acoustic guitars. I haven’t yet found out the reason for the seagull name though. There’s got to be some sort of connection to the birds though, right?!