Seagulls are mostly monogamous creatures, meaning most of them pair for life with only one. But doesn’t it bother you to think, what happens when one of them passes away? Do seagulls mate for life? Or, do they select another partner?
A lot of members from the bird kingdom select one partner for life. Swans, Penguins, Lovebirds, Condors, and most Seagulls are of the same community.
It must have been a surprise to you how they managed the bond and went through the journey, just the two of them, and perhaps sometimes more!
Today, we will highlight a subtle topic. How seagulls manage to live with only one mate for life or not! Read till the end of our article and you will clearly have the answers.
Do Seagulls Mate For Life?
Some secrets of animals and birds will make you speechless. Seagulls are one of them. They do engage in different courtship and mating behaviors. However, to confirm the notion, you would still need to inspect a few other things. They are,
Are They In Pairs?
Seagulls may not be strictly monogamous birds that mate for life, as some avian species are. Instead, they are often referred to as serially monogamous. They do form pairs during the breeding season but whether they maintain the same mate or not, still remains a mystery.
Perhaps they do, perhaps they don’t. It subsequently depends on their behavior and environment.
One theory also says, that seagulls usually mate for life but in case they are not capable of reproducing healthy chicks, they may divorce one another. The social challenges we may face as human beings are also applicable to them.
Divorced seagulls may seem less attractive to other seagulls and they may remain partnerless for a couple of nesting seasons.
The Beautiful Courtship Ritual
Seagulls, like any other birds, engage in courtship rituals to attract potential mates. The rituals can involve a set of affectionate actions and are often known as copulation.
It initially starts with a mutual blow in the bird kingdom. Here, the male bends over the female’s neck or back and frequently swings his head from side to side following a figure-eight motion.
Often it helps to stabilize the bond between them and it’s also an assurance for them that, both of them are suitable for each other and for raising their offspring.
The late March and April are generally the time when they court around each other. They start to build their nest usually in early May.
The urban seagulls are generally more insightful and they would build a nest that they can use for years to come. You can learn more about their lifestyle here.
The breeding season can run till September when the offspring are better off without them and already managed to survive. After that, the pair bond may dissolve, and the birds may go their separate ways.
Above you know how seagulls take time to pair up and start a home together. Most seagulls are monogamous. Each year, they usually return to the same spot to mate.
What Happens When One Mate Dies?
Seagulls are intelligent and they learn quickly. They may show signs of grief and mourning when they lose a mate.
The surviving one may show distress, calling out and searching for their lost mate. They may eventually seek out a new partner, especially if they are still in the breeding season.
Such a decision is often rushed by their tendency to raise the younger ones. If the surviving mate cannot find a new partner quickly enough, they may not be able to successfully raise their current clutch of eggs or chicks.
There have been many exceptions too! When a seagull mate dies at an early stage in the breeding season, the surviving partner may still attempt to raise their offspring alone. And there have been records of such occurrences.
However, it can be highly challenging, as seagulls generally share parenting duties, including finding food and protecting the nest from predators.
Additionally, take note of the few factors that can affect the pair of seagulls. Keep reading to find out.
Factors that Affect Seagull Pairs
The duration of a seagull pair bond can vary depending on several factors. We took a note of them for you.
1) Breeding Success
Most seagulls determine the success and failure of their partnership by how well they are raising their offspring. It will ultimately define whether they will stay together for another season or not.
Seagul pairs who have successfully raised chicks will be more interested in reuniting again.
2) Threats and Predators
Seagulls often face threats from predators and humans during the breeding season, especially when they build a nest in the city sights. It can also disrupt pair bonds and lead to mate changes.
3) Breeding Site
Other factors like breeding sites or availability of food also affect the seagull pairs in breeding. They may seek out new mates or territories in case their previous breeding area becomes less favorable.
For example, the human population may raid the area and cut the trees down.
How Long A Seagull Can Live with One Partner?
Most seagulls are monogamous. They don’t usually change partners or engage in fidelity unless one of them dies, while some others may not be so confident.
Records show that some seagulls stayed with the same partner for their lifetime, the 20 years of their life. They are protective and too fond of their partner which often defines their territorial nature.
They will feel free to dive-bomb anyone who gets too close to their nest and protect their territory.
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