Q:

What do seagulls eat?

A:

Seagulls are known as adaptable opportunists, as they are omnivores and feed on a wide variety of animals and vegetation. Besides fresh food, they also pick through garbage and offal and eat carrion.

Seagulls hunt and forage for food over the water, on the land and in the air. They are very versatile in their intake. They eat all sorts of marine animals, including fish, mollusks, crustaceans and insects, either alive or dead. On land, they eat worms, grubs, rodents, reptiles and amphibians. Besides the young of other bird species, they also sometimes eat their own.

Some types of gulls snatch flying insects out of the air. Others plunge into the water to catch fish, or swim in circles to bring invertebrates to the surface and then dip them out of the water. It is common for seagulls to search rocks and sand along shorelines for food. Some gulls also fly high into the air with the shells of clams or mussels and drop them onto hard surfaces to break them. Certain species of gulls associate with other animals in order to feed. For example, predators such as orcas drive prey to the surface when they hunt, and gray whales bring up plumes of mud that the seagulls pick through.


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