Seagull And Crab | Greenport, New York

© Sophie W. Smith

Joined October 2012

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Artist's Description

The diet of a seagull is multifaceted to say the least. A seagull is one of the few birds with very little discernment about what it consumes. While the preference of seagulls is usually fish, mollusks, and invertebrate insects like worms, they will not hesitate to eat from a trash can.

Where Gulls Eat
Seagulls are capable of hovering just above a water’s surface without actually having to break through it. Their elongated sharp beaks are ideal for snatching prey from the water, particularly fish that swim near the surface of shallow water. They will also fly over beach areas in search of worms and mollusks lurking in the sand.

Habits
Seagulls, known for staying in coastal areas of the northern hemisphere, have a tendency to congregate near offshore areas. This is because the cold water areas of the continental shelf make it an ideal place for seagulls to gather and feed off the carcasses of sea animals, even whales, that have drifted ashore.

Misconceptions
Seagulls are often thought of as the type of bird to eat anything. This is generally true, however, they do prefer to catch live food as opposed to already finding it dead. Catching crabs, fish, and mollusks is in their nature.

Considerations
The seagull can drink salt water and fresh water. The salt will not stay in the seagull’s system because it is flushed out through a special set of glands. This allows the seagull to remain in the coastal areas it thrives in, where ocean water is the main source for hydration. Read more

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