Beach Walking With My Seagull Buddies.
Every once in a while, I love to go up to the North Jetty Beach and visit my friends, the seagulls. Ever since I moved to the Oregon coast, I've always loved hanging out with these guys. They walk along the tides of the Pacific Ocean and the water rolls in and the warm sun greets them every day early.
One of the things they usually do is bathe in the mornings. They must be pretty clean birds because they actually bathe twice daily. Once early in the mornings and once in the evening. It fun to watch them. They dunk their heads and parts of the bodies under the water about ten times in a row, and then they rise up and shake the water off their wings. They'll repeat this process, as many times as they feel is necessary to get clean.
After their morning (or evening) bath, they will prune their feathers. They don't even have to think about having to go through this ritual every day because it's bread into them from birth. It's all part of the instinct in them and what's called the "genetic code."
When they finally turn in for the night, they find anywhere they can to sleep. I have actually seen them sleep, floating on the water. They usually sleep in large flocks. (I guess like the saying goes, there's safety in numbers.) And of coarse when there is danger or a threat afoot, you can always hear their built in alarm go off in the sound of loud, repetitive "cawing."
They are really not birds of prey but scavengers. The only time they get aggressive is when they want a specific perch, or when there's food being handed out. In Florence, where I live, it's actually illegal to feed them, but people still do.
I love to watch them interact with other birds. During mating season, they find a mate and usually pair off. They mate for life and usually return to the same area to mate. I also love to watch them fly, but just a word of caution. If they ever fly directly over you, make sure your wearing a hat and don't look up.