There’s no such thing as a seagull

//There’s no such thing as a seagull

There’s no such thing as a seagull

Did you know there is really no such thing as a seagull? Sounds crazy, right? We have all seen them at the beach. And even the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a seagull as a “gull frequenting the sea.”

But technically, those birds you see can encompass a range of species – at least 28 types in North America. In birding circles, they are just referred to as “gulls,” part of the species family Laridae.

The ones we often catch sight of on our beaches are varied. Laughing gulls and the Bonaparte’s gull have black hoods. Herring gulls are much larger with a white head. The small ring-billed gull has a black ring around its yellow bill. The lesser black-backed gull is grey all over. And the great black-backed gull shows off a black back and black-tipped wings.

Whether you use the common term of “seagull” for all these birds, or identify them specifically, the most important thing to know is that they are protected.

Visitors often toss food in the air for birds to catch or build sandcastles near nesting areas. But remember, these are wild creatures. Please don’t feed them. It’s not healthy for them and it encourages them to be a nuisance to humans. It also may lead predatory creatures near chicks and eggs in nesting areas.

Another caution: Leaving behind any trash or food can attract gulls, so please pick up after your day at the beach and don’t leave anything (but footprints) behind.

You can enjoy the beach while respecting our local wildlife. We encourage you to give it a try.

By | 2017-02-22T02:03:34+00:00 February 22nd, 2017|Blog|0 Comments

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