Seagulls, also known as gulls, are seabirds that belong to the Laridae family. Their closest relatives are the terns even though they have some links to skimmers, auks, and waders.
These medium to large birds are known for many things. For example, many people consider them pests because of their strong appetite. They are prepared to do anything to get to the food. Seagulls are found all over the world even in some parts of Antarctica and the Arctic region.
Surprising facts about seagulls
What many people don’t know is that seagulls are actually very clever birds. It was proven that they have the ability to learn new things throughout their lives and they can remember things for a long time. As a matter of fact, some of them are able to pass their knowledge and behaviors to other seagulls. They can also drop food on rocks to crack it and eat the content. Seagulls have one partner for life – they are monogamous birds. Another thing that is interesting about these birds is that they can consume both salt and fresh water thanks to their unique glands.
Since these birds have existed on our planet for many millennia it is quite natural that there are different seagull species out there. In fact, there are more than 20 species of these birds that live on every continent. Although we are talking about seabirds, seagulls are found deep in the mainland in some cases.
How long do seagulls live?
According to some experts, seagulls have a natural lifespan of about 20 years and there were many records of seagulls that have reached 25 years or even more. But, the unique behavior of these birds and their habits can sometimes cost their lives. Namely, when seagulls live in the wild, it is not uncommon for them to be caught and eaten by other animals like foxes, weasels, sharks and cats. This is one of the reasons why their lifespan is so different. There are many birds that don’t reach the age of 1 year while others live 25 years. It is good to mention that the first year of their life is critical. Most of the seagulls that pass the first year will experience natural death.
Naturally, the seagulls that live in captivity have a longer life span. When they are kept in zoos and similar facilities they usually receive all the necessary care they need. This means that they are getting enough food and water and have enough space to exercise. In addition, seagulls in captivity don’t have to worry about all the predators we have mentioned before. The young seagulls get extra care. On top of that, when they are in captivity they don’t have to deal with the consequences of extreme weather which are another thing that lowers their lifespan.
Finally, let’s not forget that different species of seagulls have a different life expectancy. Ring-billed seagulls usually leave between 12 and 15 years while herring seagulls can reach 30 or more.