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Picture of Herring gulls in Hope Cove

Herring gulls in Hope Cove

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Herring gulls, also commonly known as seagulls, are found all over the British Coast and across North America and Europe. They are well associated with the seaside with their very vocal sounds being a key part of the seaside. An exponential growth in the population of herring gulls means you will see them across this country. This is mainly due to their highly diverse diet and their scavenger habits. These gulls will eat from many nasty places; rubbish bags, landfill sites and sewage outflows. They are carnivorous and their main diet consists of crab and small seafood but they are notorious for stealing human food!

Herring gulls are highly intelligent and resourceful birds that exhibit tool behaviour: for example they will drop snail shells from a height onto a hard ground or roof to get the snail meat out. They have a perfectly hooked robust bill to match their varied and tough diet. Their bill is slightly hooked to tear up meat and other objects (rubbish bags!) Herring gulls have a red spot on the bottom of their bill for the chicks to identify their mother – it acts as a follow-me spot.

Adult herring gulls have a white head with a grey back with black and white tipped wings and pink feet. They have a yellow bill with the follow-me red spot on their lower half of the beak. Young herring gulls have brown-streaked feathers with white and black tipped wings. There is no difference in appearance between males and females.

Hope Cove and the surrounding area have plenty of seagulls living along the coast and in the countryside. They are a big part of the iconic seaside. the best time to see herring gulls is during the summer months but they do live here all year round. One thing we do ask is please don't feed the gulls, especially on the front terrace of the Hotel.