Seagulls are very much daytime birds. They’re a constant whenever you want to go to the beach, drive past a pier, or even just come close to the ocean. They squawk, steal fries, and even sometimes bite the fingers of small children holding ice cream cones on the beach.
So annoying is their daytime presence that, once night comes, we all do our best to put them out of our minds until they screech us awake the next morning. So fervently do we avoid thinking about them when they aren’t around that one question I’ve not often heard answered, nor even asked, is where do seagulls sleep at night? Or, for that matter, where do they go?
In the day, we may notice hundreds of seagulls flocking the beach, but it becomes eerily silent at night. Do they go back to hell once dusk settles on the world? Or do they simply disappear into thin air to annoy us once the sun rises again?
The Seagull Bedtime Mystery – Solved
If you ask the wrong person, they’ll tell you all seagulls gather on their house’s roof at night to trample on the roof tiles, leave poop everywhere, and make a racket as soon as the first light appears.
Although this may be true, and seagulls do sometimes nest and sleep on top of the roofs of houses built near the sea, it’s not always the case, and the seagulls certainly don’t have a secret vendetta against whoever is living in the house below.
In most cases, seagulls nest along the sandbanks of the beach. The green shrubs and bushes you find once you get close to the beach; are their favorite hiding spots when they decide it’s time to get some rest.
But that’s not the only place seagulls will sleep. If the ocean is particularly calm, you may spot one or two of them floating about, letting the gentle lapping rock them to sleep.
And, if you’re interested in more urban seagulls, well, those are the ones you may find on Steve’s roof, squawking him awake at four in the morning. They sometimes also take refuge in public parks or parking lots near the sea where, although it may not be the most stylish residence, they at least feel safe and can see an enemy approaching from far away.
In fact, safety is one of the main concerns of seagulls when deciding where to go at night and whether or not they’ll be sleeping. Even though they are some of the most annoying birds on the planet, they have predators like any other animal and spend much of their nighttime warily keeping a lookout for anything or anyone who may cause them harm.
A seagull’s main predators are bigger birds of prey like eagles. It may seem unlikely that an eagle will venture all the way to the beach for a meal, but likely or not, seagulls are very much aware that they are not on the top of the food chain and act accordingly.
That’s why parks and house roofs are seen as a good option; there’s very little chance an eagle will spot a seagull hiding under a roof or next to a building in a parking lot.
This means their hiding places are not only safe but very close to their favorite food source: dumpsters.
Where Do Seagulls Spend Their Nights?
Seagulls are diurnal animals, meaning they go to sleep at sunset. When the time comes to get some well-deserved sleep, most seagulls look for somewhere sheltered and safe, with most gulls choosing to catch their Zs along a cozy sandbank or section of shrubbery.
Why Do Seagulls Sleep Near The Ocean?
Seagulls are relatively big birds and, as a result, have relatively high metabolic rates. This means they could easily get ill or die after as short as one day without a meal. Seagulls stay near the beach because that’s where they get most of their food. If they’re not stealing french fries or grabbing the food from your hand, they can hunt small fish.
By staying close to the beach, seagulls make sure they always have a steady, easy source of food whenever the hunger pangs kick in.
How Do Seagulls Sleep?
You may be surprised to learn that seagulls don’t just close their eyes entirely and proceed to drift off to dreamland. Instead, seagulls have developed a complex sleeping system that doesn’t only rely on each individual’s schedule or need for rest but takes into consideration the actions and reactions of all the gulls around them.
When a seagull sleeps, it usually stands on one leg, pulls its leg into its feathers, and tucks its beak beneath its feathers. However, every 10-15 seconds, they open an eye and subconsciously scan their surroundings for danger.
Do Seagulls Nap?
Although seagulls mainly sleep at night, it’s not completely uncommon to find them taking a nap on the beach in the middle of the day. Most of the time, these gulls open an eye every few seconds and are simply biding their time until someone drops their food, and they can go in for the feast.
It’s the closest thing you can find to a nap, and it apparently works as all seagulls who aren’t sleeping are soon back to their annoying ways,
Why Are Seagulls Noisy at Night?
Ah yes, the final question. If seagulls sleep at night, have quick metabolisms, and spend most of their time worrying where their next meal will come from, why are they so incredibly annoying at night?
If you live anywhere near a seagull sleeping or resting ground, you’ll know what I mean. The bird poop and screeching is never-ending.
To seagulls’ defense, however, there’s a reason why they make all this ruckus; to scare off possible predators that could see a gull as their next tasty snack.
And if you’re not happy with the screaming, you may, unfortunately, be stuck with it for a while since they are not nervous animals and love being safe and comfy when they sleep, and your roof is a prime spot for both naps and calling up their seagull ancestors at five in the morning,