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Uploaded on on Jul 15, 2021


Gulls, often known as seagulls, are seabirds belonging to the Laridae family and the Lari suborder. They are most closely related to terns (family Sternidae) and are only distantly related to auks, skimmers, and waders. Most gulls were classified in the genus Larus until the twenty-first century, however that classification is now deemed polyphyletic, resulting in the reintroduction of many species. Mews, which is cognate with German Möwe, Danish mge, Swedish ms, Dutch meeuw, Norwegian mke/mse, and French mouette, is an ancient term for gulls that can still be encountered in some regional languages.

Gulls are medium to big birds with black patterns on the head and wings. They are usually grey or white in color. Their strong wailing or squawking cries, sturdy, longish bills, and webbed feet are all common characteristics. The majority of gulls, especially the Larus species, are ground-nesting predators who eat live food or scavenge on the fly. Crustaceans, mollusks, fish, and tiny birds are common live foods. Gulls have unhinged jaws, allowing them to eat big prey. Except for kittiwakes, gulls are usually coastal or inland birds that rarely venture far out to sea. The complete adult plumage can take up to four years for big species, although two years is usual for tiny gulls. Large white-headed gulls are usually long-lived birds, with the herring gull living to be 49 years old.


Gulls build their nests in huge, loud colonies. They deposit two or three speckled eggs in vegetation-based nests. The young are precocial, having black speckled down and mobility from the moment they hatch. Gulls, especially the bigger species, are resourceful, inquisitive, and clever, with intricate communication systems and a well-developed social organization. Many gull colonies, for example, engage in mobbing behavior, fighting and tormenting predators and intruders. Certain animals, such as the herring gull, have demonstrated tool-use behavior, such as using bread as bait to catch goldfish. Many gull species have successfully coexisted with people and flourished in human environments. Others feed themselves through kleptoparasitism. Gulls have been seen preying on living whales, landing on the surface of the whale and pecking meat from it.

Gulls range in size from the little gull, which weighs 120 grams and measures 29 centimetres (1112 inches), to the big black-backed gull, which weighs 1.75 kilograms and measures 76 centimetres (30 in). They have hefty bodies, long wings, and relatively long necks, and are typically consistent in shape. Except for Sabine’s gull and swallow-tailed gulls, which have forked tails, and Ross’s gull, which has a wedge-shaped tail, all species have rounded tails. Gulls have relatively lengthy legs with completely webbed feet, especially when compared to comparable terns. The bill is typically hefty and hooked, with bigger species having stouter bills than smaller ones. The bill color of the bigger white-headed species is generally yellow with a red spot, whereas the lesser species’ bills are crimson, dark red, or black.

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