Gulls seem so much a part of the sea that we often just call them "seagulls," a colloquial title for these graceful, ubiquitous creatures. Twenty-two species breed in North America. The Pacific coast is home to the aptly named Western Gulls. The familiar Ring-billed Gull nests all across the northern states and Canadian provinces. Herring Gulls breed along the Great Lakes and Northeast waterways, while these Laughing Gulls nest all along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts.
Gulls or Seagulls?
Written by Bob Sundstrom
This is BirdNote.
[Familiar repetitive bugling call Glaucous-winged gull]
The loud, bugling call of gulls is unmistakable, one of nature’s most familiar voices. [Glaucous-winged call] Can’t you just smell the salt air of the seashore, where no ocean view would be complete without a few gulls flying by? [Typical gull repetitive bugling call] Gulls seem so much a part of the sea that we often just call them “seagulls,” a colloquial title for these graceful, ubiquitous creatures.
Although a fixture on many beaches, most gulls aren’t truly seafaring birds. Most never venture far from the shoreline. What gulls prefer overall are open areas – like beaches, lakes, ball fields, and pastures – not to mention landfills. [Call of the Ring-billed Gull]
In May, most gulls are nesting. Twenty-two species breed in North America. Some nest inland, some along coastlines. The familiar Ring-billed Gull [Call of the Ring-billed Gull] nests all across the northern states and Canadian provinces. Herring Gulls breed by the millions along the Great Lakes and Northeast waterways, while Laughing Gulls nest all along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts. The Pacific coast is home to vast numbers of aptly named Western Gulls.
Whether you call them gulls or seagulls, just remember that a movie scene of a ship far out at sea, surrounded by braying gulls, was likely filmed just off the beach. [Bugling calls of Glaucous-winged Gulls]
For BirdNote, I’m Mary McCann.
Calls of the gulls provided by The Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Bugling call of the Long call of the Glaucous-winged gull recorded by A.A. Allen; call of Ring-billed gulls recorded by R.S. Little; Ambient waves by C.Peterson.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson
© 2014 Tune In to Nature.org May 2014 / 2020 Narrator: Mary McCann