What Do Seagulls Eat?

Category: Birds.

Seagulls, those sometimes, pesky birds that are typically found around shore and beach areas, have to eat, just like most species, in order to survive. Seagulls have existed for a long time, and many scientists and animal experts have studied their behavior and existence in order to better understand them. One of the crucial areas of study has been the seagull’s diet. You may be interested to know what seagulls eat, and you will find an answer to your curious question below!

Yellow-legged gull eating a pigeon in Spain. © Javierme.

Sea plants and creatures

Because seagulls live near both beach and shore areas, their main source of food comes from the ocean or other body of water that they live near. Seagulls have large beaks that allow them to scoop up whatever food they can find, and they can spot food items as they fly overhead. From the sea, seagulls will eat small fish or shellfish. They will also pick up pieces of seaweed if other food is not available to them.

A seagull eating a live octopus. © Franco Folini


As disgusting as it may sound to us humans, seagulls have no problem eating trash. The food or scraps that are thrown away will sometimes become a seagull’s meal. They typically go for food scraps, but will go for any type of organic matter that can be found in the trash and picked up in their beaks.

Food from humans

Seagulls are notorious for being pesky because they have no problem swooping down from the sky and grabbing food right out of a human’s hand. Especially at the shore and beach areas, seagulls have no problem going after boardwalk treats such as french fries and funnel cake. Some humans like to help the seagulls out, and will break up pieces of bread to leave behind for the seagulls. It is always good to be vigilant, especially on a beach, while eating food as you never know when a seagull will decide it’s time for dinner, your dinner!

More on seabirds

  1. Penguin’s diet
  2. Puffin’s diet

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