Seagulls are much-maligned creatures. The general public regard them as a nuisance, feral delinquents and low-life scavengers, prone to being aggressive for no apparent reason. Only vultures, it seems, compete at the same social level. Yet the truth is that if you take the time to observe them, they have remarkable qualities for small birds.
They are monogamous and rarely separate from their mate. They’re great swimmers with the rare ability to drink seawater. They’re also highly intelligent, communicative, and can continue to learn new skills, retain it, and also pass them on to others.
Just watch them break open a mussel, or collectively stamp their feet in a farmer’s field to attract the worms. Farmers love them as they keep the insect population under control. Faces they can recognise too. They will eat practically anything available, acting as roaming dustmen. They are such skilled aviators they can extract the bacon from a sandwich in mid-flight.
If they attack, it is normally because people are too close to their chicks. People shouldn’t shoo them away. All that is needed is a hard stare to keep them at bay. But beware; they may use this as a decoy for another to blindside you! Large birds of prey are their only enemy.
Treated respectfully they will interact, and not just for food!