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Friday, 15 May 2015

Gull (or Seagull)

Gulls, also called seagulls, are seabirds of the family Laridae in the suborder Lari. They are most closely related to the terns.

The California Gull is the Utah state bird because in 1848 the gulls flew in flocks from California to the Salt Lake Valley and consumed tens of thousands of "Mormon Crickets" that were devouring the crops, saving the harvest. It's called 'The miracle of the gulls'.

During the World War I, the British Army attempted to train seagulls to poo on the periscopes of enemy submarines.

The seagulls in the 1963 Alfred Hitchcock movie The Birds were fed a mixture of wheat and whisky so they would stand around and not fly too much.

The herring gull's cry features in the opening of the long-running BBC Radio 4 program Desert Island Discs.

Toronto police arrested baseball player Dave Winfield  in 1983 for "causing unnecessary suffering to an animal" after the Yankee outfielder threw a ball during warm-ups and accidentally killed a seagull.

In 2002 an Anglesey man had a heart attack after being attacked by gulls protecting chicks.

Students from Leicester University showed that 2,425,907 seagulls would have been needed to lift a giant peach, not 501 as in Roald Dahl's story.

A seagull drinks salt water because it has special glands that filter out the salt.

Most types of seagull breed once a year and have two or three chicks. Mother gulls are very protective of their eggs and chicks and will sometimes fight to the death to defend them.

Gulls are opportunist and eat almost anything.

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