Sunday, 1 March 2015

Day 120 - Hectic Herring Gulls

Hey everyone,

Herring Gull (Larus argentatus)
Well day 120 and I thought I'd go back to the coast, well sort of as you'll see in the photos from Whitby, and a video from York. The bird today though is most associated with the seaside but is very resourceful and is often found inland. I'm talking today about Herring Gulls.

So what did I find out about these birds:

  • They are a red status bird as they have had a fifty percent population decline in the last thirty years. 
    Juvenile Herring Gull 
  • There are around 140,000 breeding pairs in the UK and they live mainly on the coast but come inland especially during the winter.
  • Quite a large bird they are 60cm long and have a wingspan of 144cm. Males weigh around 1kg and females around 950g.
  • I found two collective nouns for gulls, the first was a colony. The second I like more, you can get a screech of gulls.
  • Whilst they can drink seawater they prefer freshwater. If they do drink seawater they have special glands above their eyes which pass the salt out stopping them from dehydrating.
  • They are omnivorous scavengers though they prefer animal based food. They are resourceful and are happy on the sea shore, on a rubbish tip or on a lawn - see the video below.

  • The gull is doing a rain dance making the worms think it is raining so they come to the surface to avoid drowning only to become gull food!
  • Tourists beware, they will eat chips and ice cream and I've seen them nick chips off people that weren't paying attention!
  • They live quite a long time. A typical life span is 12 years but they have been recorded to live over 30 years!
  • Parents protect nests and their young by dive bombing anyone or anything that gets too close, 
So I hope you liked finding out about these birds as much as I did, I really liked seeing them dance. If you want to find out more try these sites:

Hope you enjoyed,


1 comment:

  1. I always like watching herring gulls dancing, thanks for sharing the video