Ella’s wild about wildlife – Gulls

5 things you probably didn’t know about gulls!

This week we have been staying by the sea; and we have been seeing rather a lot of one type of bird. Gulls. They are a common sighting by the sea, as they swoop down for chips and ice cream and squawk loudly to gather your attention. They get lots of bad press but actually they are amazing birds.

There are lots of different types of gulls that aren’t just seen at the seaside; they can be found in fields, forests, on the cliffs, and even in the middle of cities or towns. There are lots of different species of gulls and lots of people only know seagulls!

Here are 5 things you probably didn’t know about them:

  • Strictly speaking there is no bird called a seagull but is a common name given to birds by the sea.
  • Gulls are extremely clever and they learn to pass on skills like stamping their feet on the ground to make worms think it is raining and come to the surface.
  • Gulls can drink salt water and fresh water because of a pair of glands above their eyes, designed to flush the salt out through their bill.
  • Gulls can roost on ledges without falling off in the wind because of a claw up their lower leg!
  • When gulls are low on energy they hover above a bridge to absorb heat that is rising from road way and pavements.

How to identify the difference between black backed, common, and herring gulls:

It is good to know things about gulls but you also need to know how to identify them.

Herring gull

Herring gulls have a white neck and belly, grey wings and black plumage as tail feathers. They also have a yellow beak with a red dot below it and pinkie orangey coloured legs and feet.

herring gull
Black-backed gull

Black-backed gulls have black wings and a white neck and body. Their tail feathers are black and white striped and their yellow beack has a red dot on the bottom. Their webbed feet are a pinkie, orangey colour.

black backed gull
Common gull

The Common gull looks pretty much the same as herring gulls except their legs are yellow.

common gull 2


Gulls are extremely clever birds that have learned how to live around humans and I hope you have learnt lots from this piece.


By Ella