Photos: Where to watch seagulls in Abu Dhabi
Published on March 12, 2021 at 13.48
The UAE is now nearing the tail-end of winter, so residents in Abu Dhabi are making the most of their afternoons with the migratory birds flying about in their neighbourhood — the seagulls.
Where can you find them in Abu Dhabi? Every afternoon this March, families and groups of friends have been hanging out at the breakwater of the Abu Dhabi Corniche to enjoy the scenery with seagulls flying around.
Where are they from? The UAE has long been a preferred destination for seagulls since the country enjoys milder coastal climates in winter. Most migratory birds come from Siberia and the Mediterranean regions, making a pit stop on UAE shores to flee the harsh winter in the Northern Hemisphere.
Did you know? Seagulls — usually grey or white in colour — can live only up to 15 years in the wild, depending on the species. There are approximately 50 species of gulls found throughout the world.
What do they eat? Seagulls eat a wide variety of foods, including fish, marine and freshwater invertebrates. They can drink either freshwater or saltwater, though they prefer freshwater.
Are chips bad for them? Wildlife experts are calling on people to refrain from giving seagulls chips, crackers or other highly processed human food. "Although gulls might be taking in more calories than their body needs from eating fries, chips and sandwiches, a bird can still become malnourished since it’s not eating the proper combination of natural foods to provide its body with the nutrients it needs," Joseph Reynolds, president of Save Coastal Wildlife nonprofit, has said in the past.
What can you give them? You can toss them some nutritious birdseeds. However, while it is fun to feed seagulls, it's best to do so sparingly as they should be encouraged to hunt for their own food. "If people stopped feeding gulls, the birds would likely move to areas where their natural food choices are more abundant," Reynolds wrote.