School of Life Sciences | Ask A Biologist

dropdown arrow downdropdown arrow upshow/hide menu

Ask A Biologist heading

What do the different calls of gulls mean?

Each gull species has its own vocabulary of sounds, and they communicate things such as mating rituals, warning calls, and location of food sources. Young gulls have high pitched whining calls that together with their behavior cause parents to regurgitate food for them. Most warning calls are growling-like. Some calls are soft and others are loud and far reaching to warn away competitors. You may be watching and listening to several species of gulls, and each species may have sounds peculiar to its species (such as mate attraction calls). Other sounds will be more generally recognized by all gull species (such as "stay away from my food").

Question From: Susan
Grade Level: 10

To learn more about the songs of birds, try these links.

Have a different answer or more to add to this one? Send it to us.

Share to Google Classroom

Be part of Ask A Biologist

by volunteering, or simply sending us feedback on the site. Scientists, teachers, writers, illustrators, and translators are all important to the program. If you are interested in helping with the website we have a Volunteer page to get the process started.

dropdown arrow downdropdown arrow up  Learn More

Share to Google Classroom

Be part of Ask A Biologist

by volunteering, or simply sending us feedback on the site. Scientists, teachers, writers, illustrators, and translators are all important to the program. If you are interested in helping with the website we have a Volunteer page to get the process started.