Do Seagulls Eat Meat? + Many Other Seagull Questions Answered!

  • 6 min read
  • Seagulls
do seagulls eat meat

If you’ve ever been around seagulls, you know they are not picky eaters. They will prey on live animals and opportunistically scavenge on human leftovers.

If you are foolish enough to feed one seagull, you will soon be surrounded by a dozen or more angry birds that will want a piece of the pie.

To answer the question…

Do seagulls eat meat? Yes, they do eat meat. Gulls are highly adaptable feeders that opportunistically take a wide range of prey, dead or alive. They will take live food, like crabs and small fish, insects and earthworms, rodents, eggs, reptiles, amphibians, and many other animals in the air, on water, or on land. Amazingly, they have unhinging jaws (like snakes) that allow them to consume large prey.

Do Seagulls Eat Meat? Oh, yes. Yes they do.

What are seagulls?

Seagulls are medium to large birds, usually, grey or white that are actually called gulls and they are part of a family of seabirds called Laridae in the suborder Lari. Lari includes the gulls, terns, skuas, and skimmers; the rest of the order is made up of the waders and snipes.

Most often you can see them in seaside towns or ports as many species of gulls have learned to coexist successfully with humans and have thrived in human habitats.

The larger species of gulls are intelligent, curious, and smart, and can demonstrate complex methods of communication and a highly developed social structure even going as far as mobbing or attacking other predators and competitors.

What do baby seagulls eat?

Seagull babies, just like most of the other bird species, will eat whatever their parents eat and regurgitate into their mouths, including worms, insects, seeds, etc until they are capable of eating themselves. They can also be fed soaked dog food in an effort to keep them alive and well.

Do seagulls drink seawater?

Seagulls, just like other birds in order Charadriiformes (around 350 species), drink both freshwater as well as saltwater (seawater). They are capable of doing that because the grooves in their skulls possess exocrine glands by which salt can be excreted through the nostrils to assist the kidneys in maintaining electrolyte balance.

What do seagulls eat inland?

We already know that they adapted very well to living around humans and the same is true for gulls living inland. They will eat living but also dead animals, like small mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians but also dung, grain, and berries.

They are permanent residents of landfills where they flock because there’s plenty to scavenge. Gulls will feast on garbage throughout the year, except in the non-breeding season.

Seagulls will generally eat well before laying their eggs (ie. not eat garbage) and feed their babies well during hatching and rearing.

As little gulls grow bigger, they will look up to their parents and start eating trash food as well.

Do seagulls eat rabbits?

Seagulls are opportunistic scavengers and if an opportunity for an easy and hefty meal arises, they will go after it.

Do seagulls eat rabbits? Sometimes they do. There are a couple of graphic YouTube videos out there of gulls eating whole rabbits, squirrels, and even attacking, killing, and eating pigeons or rats.

I don’t think that is typical gull behavior as they seem to preffer fish, leftovers and snatching sandwiches out of unsuspecting hands.

Do seagulls eat dogs?

I have read about alleged seagull attacks on dogs, especially smaller breeds like Chihuahuas in some British tabloids but also respectable news outlets like BBC. They reportedly swoop into peoples gardens and snatch unsuspecting dogs.

Is this a typical gull behavior? No it’s not but that doesn’t mean that it couldn’t happen.

Do seagulls eat dogs? They do not eat dogs as there are a lot of easier preys out there including unguarded food on tables, garbage and food leftovers and so on.

Do seagulls eat cats?

The only time a seagull would attack a cat would be to steal the cat’s food or if the cat would try to attack seagull’s babies. The cat would then be in serious trouble because the seagull has a vicious beak that can do a lot of damage.

Where do seagulls lay their eggs?

Gulls are monogamous and their relationship usually lasts for the life of the pair. Most gulls breed once a year and have predictable breeding seasons lasting for three to five months.

They also display high levels of site fidelity, returning to the same colony after breeding there once and even usually breeding in the same location within that colony. Colonies can vary from just a few pairs to over a hundred thousand pairs.

Nests are usually built on the ground, but a few species build nests on cliffs, including the kittiwakes, which almost always nest in such habitats, and in some cases in trees, and high places like Bonaparte’s gulls.

In coastal towns, many gulls nest on rooftops or even window ledges and can be observed by nearby residents.

Can seagulls see at night?

Vision is the most important sense for birds since good eyesight is essential for safe flight. I mean, we’ve all heard the expression “hawk eye”. Seagulls have red oil droplets in the cones of their retinas. This improves contrast and sharpens distance vision, especially in hazy conditions.

You can sometimes observe gulls flying at night. They wouldn’t be doing that if they were not capable of seeing good at night.

Are seagulls dangerous?

Although gull populations are generally on a decline, online news outlets would have you think that it’s the other way around and that gulls are attacking women, children, and pets at an alarming rate.

The population of breeding pairs of herring gulls has plummeted by a massive 90 percent over the past 30 years – from approximately 150,000 to between just 15,000 and 20,000 today.

The truth is, if a seagull feels threatened or thinks that you are getting too close to their nest, they might warn you with a flyby or even a poop or womit attack. Worst case scenario, they will go straight at you with their powerful claws or beak.

Is that any different than many other animals out there?


Adrian Volenik

I've lived around animals my whole life and I hold a Diploma in Animal Physiology. When I'm not reading or writing about wild animals, health and fitness, and technology, you can find me playing with my son and two cats. My pastimes include running, playing video games, and solving the NY Times crossword.