SEAGULLS are thought of as coastal birds, but they’ve become a common site in urban areas in recent years.
So why do gulls move inland, and are they a protected species? Here’s all you need to know.
Why do seagulls go inland?
Seagulls are seabirds closely related to skimmers and terns.
Typically they’re medium to large birds, with white or grey feathers and black markings on the wings or head.
They’re also known for being pretty noisy, especially during nesting season.
In the summer, they’re found mainly on the coast, but in winter, large numbers of some species travel inland.
Experts suggest that urban locations are attractive to seagulls due to the large amounts of food waste found in built-up areasCredit: Alamy
During this period they feed on refuse sites and farm fields, and roost on reservoirs and lakes, according to The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds website.
Seagulls have become a common site in city squares and busy urban areas.
Experts suggest that these areas are a big pull for them, due to the large amounts of food waste, which attract the scavengers.
These built-up areas also provide shelter for their nesting sites, and are typically warmer than coasts and rural areas.
Where do seagulls sleep?
Most seagulls sleep at night, like us, but they may be seen flying around at night if they’re looking for food.
Seagulls are known to open their eyes regularly during the night to check that they’re safe, and not about to be pounced on by a predator.
They prefer catching their kip close to open water, though gulls who have ditched the coast for urban living can be found on rooftops, close to waste sites, and even in your back garden.
Are seagulls protected?
There are seven breeding gull species in the UK.
Currently, all of them are categorised as birds of conservation concern.
Kittiwake, which is the most numerous of the UK species are declining mainly because there is a shortage of their favourite prey: sandeels.
It’s thought climate change is driving the drop in sandeel numbers.
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