Have you ever been walking by the beach, happily eating your ice cream or sandwich, when suddenly, a bird steals it right out of your hands? If the answer is yes, you just had a close encounter with a gull, also known as a seagull.
These funny seabirds are some sort of mascot for coastline towns and tourist places. Hearing their noises instantly bring back memories of summer for me, but there is also a strong seagull symbolism in many cultures, so keep reading to learn more!
Interesting Facts About Gulls
Gulls are probably the most iconic seabirds, recognizable by their wailing or squawking. They are intelligent, cunning, opportunistic, resourceful, and curious.
Seagulls can be found on every continent, including some margin parts of Antarctica. there are more than 50 seagull species. However, only a few seagull species can be found in tropical habitats, such as Galapagos and New Caledonia.
Most seagulls migrate during the winter months, with some species traveling long distances while others go to nearby areas to spend winters.
Seagulls are numerous in places with many people around because they see humans as the opportunity to find food. Hence, they can also be found in landfills or parking lots, where they scavenge for food remains.
Seagulls are medium to large-sized birds. They have heavy bodies, long necks, and long wings. Their legs are also long with webbed feet. Seagull bills are slightly hooked and heavy.
Seagulls have white bodies with black wingtips and tails. However, some species are fully white, while others can have more black feathers. Some seagull species are partly or completely grey.
When it comes to the seagull’s behavior during the breeding season, these birds are monogamous and will breed with the same partner for the rest of their lives. They will also prefer to breed on the same spot every year.
However, sometimes the pair will “divorce,” and their colony will shun it for the next several years.
Breeding seasons last between three and five months each year. Existing pairs reconnect while the unpaired seagulls begin their courting rituals. When the pair is established, and they breed, they will work together on building a nest.
Typically, a female seagull lays three eggs of dark tan, olive green, or brown eggs. Both partners incubate the eggs, and the incubation usually lasts between 22 and 26 days.
The younglings are brooded for one to two weeks, with their father taking over the feeding responsibility while their mother guards the nest.
Other Gull Facts
Seagulls are able to eat 20% of their body weight in one day. These birds can detect a food source while being up to 3 miles away.
Their excrement is called guano, and it is made of nitrogen-rich ammonia salts, which makes it a great soil fertilizer.
Seagulls have an excellent memory and can even memorize human faces, especially if those humans fed them or interacted with them in any other way. They will also easily remember where they hid their food several days ago.
Symbolic Meaning Of Seagulls
Seagulls are no ordinary birds. These animals represent flexibility, resourcefulness, adaptability, creativity, and the ability to overcome any challenging situation or emotional boundaries.
Seagulls symbolize people who are able to find opportunities in unlikely places. They also symbolize fearlessness, compassion,
However, some gull symbols have a negative connotation. For example, seagulls are often connected with bad traits such as dirtiness, thievery, gluttony, gossip, and crowd mentality.
Seagulls were often mentioned in myths from Ancient Greece. One of such myths tells us a story about tragic love.
Halcyon was the daughter of Aeolus, the Greek god of winds, and she was married to a human Ceyx. The pair was madly in love, and their love awakened the curiosity of the gods.
The gods watched them closely; once, they overheard Halcyon and Ceyx joking about them. They felt insulted, so they cursed Ceyx to die on the sea.
Ceyx couldn’t escape his destiny, and once he died, Halcyon leaped into the sea from the grief. The gods felt sorry for them, so they transformed them into seagulls so that they could be together forever.
Still, strong winds and waves battered their nests and took their offspring. Zeus decided to help them by allowing fourteen days of clear and calm weather each day, enabling them to lay eggs and raise their young in peace.
This time of the year was named “Halcyon days.”
Native American Cultures
Native American Innu tribe sees the seagull as a protective figure that looks after lost people.
The porcupine told them to look for the seagull. While the porcupine slowed the monster by stabbing it with its spikes, the bear cubs found the seagull and crossed the river in its boat.
Soon, the monster reached the river and wanted to cross it in the seagull’s boat. However, the seagull filled the boat with fish guts so that the monster couldn’t stand the smell.
The monster leaned its head over one side of the boat, and the seagull used it as an opportunity to behead it. Since then, bear cubs lived safely with the seagull.
Celtic mythology tells us a story about Boobrie, a cryptid animal that looks like a gigantic seabird, most probably a seagull. This bird could shapeshift, and it was infamous due to its gluttony, which is another evidence that Boobrie is based on seagulls. It preyed on livestock much larger than any other bird could kill.
Japanese Shinto tradition sees seagulls as messengers of various sea gods. Kabushima Island has a shrine dedicated to seagulls, and it is thought to bring riches and prosperity.
Seagulls And Christianity
In the Bible, seagulls are among those animals that are listed as being unsuitable for eating. Hence, they were often seen as impure, thieving, and bickering. Still, some Christians see them as a symbol of beauty and balance among God’s creations.
Gull Meaning In the Modern Age
Nowadays, people value their freedom highly, and seagulls remind them of freedom, hope, stamina, and optimism. Seagulls seem to lead an unrestrained life without any restrictions and limitations.
Seagulls teach us how to survive even the worst storms and how to act when the opportunity knocks on our door.
Gull Spirits And Their Significance
Having a seagull as your animal ally will influence your spiritual path and allow you to look at things in your life from a different perspective.
Seagull Power Animal: People with a seagull power animal are extroverted, creative, and intelligent. They openly show their emotions and act impulsively.
However, these people can also be easily influenced, and they need to be careful not to adopt bad habits from people around them.
Seagull Spirit Animal: This spirit animal will help you channel all your strengths and weaknesses and control your emotions and actions. It will guide you through the most turbulent times of your life, and it will help you become strong with each challenge you pass.
Sometimes, you will be thrown off your course and make mistakes, but you will use them as a learning experience. These mistakes will teach you how to thrive even out of your comfort zone.
Seagull Totem Animal: Chippewa tribe often depicted seagulls in their clan art. This animal is often connected to parenthood and guidance.
People with seagulls as totem animals are inclined to parenthood and guide others. They are good mentors and teachers, and they enjoy sharing their experiences.
The Symbolism Behind Gull Tattoos
Seagull tattoos can have many different meanings. They can represent hardships overcome by the person wearing the tattoo. A seagull tattoo sometimes represents a person who feels alone, rejected, or misunderstood.
For some people, a seagull tattoo symbolizes their creativity, wanderlust, and love for adventure. Finally, some people simply want a tattoo that will remind them of summers spent at the beach, and the seagull tattoo is one of the best choices!
What Does It Mean To Dream About Gulls?
Dreaming of a seagull before you go on a journey can be a warning that some danger or trouble awaits you, but you will be led to safety by the seagull’s wisdom.
If you dream of a group of several seagulls, you might feel rejected, overlooked, or underappreciated by your peers, colleagues, friends, or family members.
Also, if you dream about seagulls when you need to make a big decision, it can mean your decision will have a dangerous outcome. It also means that you need to brace yourself and trust your instincts.
Seagulls aren’t just mischievous birds that will steal your snacks when you are near the beach. They can be powerful spiritual guides, and they will teach you to be resilient, resourceful, and creative.
Although some people think seagulls bring bad luck, these birds actually symbolize how to deal with problems, obstacles, and challenging situations.
What do you think about seagulls? Do you see them as annoying pests, or you could feel a spiritual connection to them? Share in the comments!