Seagull watching. It’s an easy pastime at the cottage. They greet each incoming wave as if it’s a carnival ride designed just for them. A little fleet of feathered bobbers, up and over the crest and sliding into the trough. Then something sets them aloft. They rise and wheel and settle back on the water to ride the waves again.
What’s really mesmerizing is to watch the windriders, the gulls that hang motionless in the air. Their windspeed matches that of oncoming breezes and they navigate the changes with skill.
Here’s some fascinating trivia I found about seagulls online.
Gulls have been observed preying on live whales, landing on the whale as it surfaces to peck out pieces of flesh. (BBC News)
Seagulls can survive drinking salt water because of a special pair of glands just above the eyes that flush the salt from their system out through their nostrils (Audubon)
Large white-headed gulls are typically long-lived birds, with a maximum age of 49 years recorded for the herring gull. (The Animal Ageing and Longevity Database)
In Native American symbolism, the seagull represents a carefree attitude, versatility, and freedom. (One Kind Planet)
Gulls are monogamous and colonial breeders that display mate fidelity that usually lasts for the life of the pair. (Wikipedia)
There are approximately 50 species of gulls found throughout the world. (Just Fun Facts)
Seagulls have existed on the planet for between 30 and 33 million years. (Reference.com)
A luxury hotel in Cannes, France, has a team of 5 trained attack hawks that it uses to keep pesky seagulls from harassing its wealthy patrons in outside seating areas. (MSN)