Did You Know Seagulls Are Clever, Intelligent Birds?

Seagulls on the beach

Did you know  Seagulls are clever birds? Whether you love them or hate them, these beautiful birds are crafty and highly intelligent. Growing up on the coast I’ve always been intrigued with seagulls. Their aggressive and bold behavior around people seem to contradict their graceful aerial movement and soft water landings.

Seagull

These fascinating birds initially only hung out by the seaside, river or some type of water resource, but now many urban areas have become home to them. Growing up on the coast hearing the high pitch call of the gulls, integrates into the normal everyday backdrop sound, but it has always seemed strange to hear seagulls in cities far from the coast when I travel. Strange as it may sound, it always warms my heart a little to think my beach friends from home… Followed me.

Seagull

It turns out Seagulls have separated into two distinct different groups, rural and urban gulls and these seagulls do not mix. They usually stay in the area they are born in, although some urban seagulls do return to the coast to breed, according to Peter Rock, seagull expert. Once the babies are born, the parenting seagulls rotate turns caring for their young, standing guard and providing food for the nest.

Studies estimate over 100,000 seagulls are now nesting on urban cities rooftops where they can protect their young and easily feed from waste landfills and street trash. While the number of gulls heading to the cities is increasing, the coastal gulls are dramatically decreasing.

Seagull on the beach

I love to watch the seagulls on the beach, play out their little tricks. Did you know they stomp the ground with their feet to get the earthworms to surface imitating rainfall? If you get the chance, notice they will repeat many behaviors in unison with each other while communicating to large flocks.

Here’s a few more interesting things about the seagulls:

  • Seagulls posses a highly developed range of vocalislation. They also have the ability to communicate with each other through body movement.
  • There is estimated to be twenty-nine different species in existence.
  • They drink both kinds of water, fresh and salt.
  • Seagulls target rocks to drop hard shell food in to break it open to eat.
  • They have a small claw halfway up their leg that allows them to sit on ledges without being blown off by high winds.
  • If you notice them hovering over bridges, they are conserving energy to prepare to absorb rising heat from hot roadways.
  • Their eyesight is better than ours.
  • Seagulls can survive in the wild for 10-15 years, but can live up to 30 years in captivity. The oldest recorded seagull was 49 when he died.
  • Although they live in colonies that consist of thousands of pairs of birds, they are monogamous to their pair and stay with one mate for life.
  • Seagulls remember things and pass it on to other gulls.
  • They are covered in white plumage and have black around the wing edges.
  • Their wing span is usually 11 to 30 inches and they appear uniform in shape.They have heavy bodies, moderately long limbs and necks with a rounded tail (except for 3 species).
  • Eagles and other large birds are the main predator of seagulls.
  • Seagulls often steal food from other birds, animals and humans.They eat earthworms, rodents, insects, reptiles, fruit, seeds, amphibians and human food. Occasionally, they eat other birds in their species, cannibalism.
  • The seagull is the state bird for Utah because they helped the Mormons settle by eating the excess of crickets in the state. Referred to as “The Miracle of Gulls“.
  • They are synonymous with the terms “Freedom, Versatility, and Carefree” in the Native American Culture.

Live free

Seagulls are not just beautiful, but an old species. No one knows exactly how far they date back, but most bird enthusiasts agree, that seagulls are among one of the species of birds.

A little birdie told me that it’s known in the circles of ornithologists, wildlife biologists and birders that most experts cringe at the term “Seagull” and say it’s misleading. The experts claim there is no bird species known as technically as “Seagull”, but as simply “Gulls”. The word, sea, got attached to the gull after their behavior demonstrated their devotion to the coastline.

If you enjoy the “Flight of the Seagulls” you’re part of the mass majority, however, if you find the seagulls annoying – maybe this post will help change your mind. I hope so because you’re missing out.

Why do you think the seagull is so popular among all the feathered friends? Is it the mental images of being near the ocean or just simple subliminal perception of coastal familiarity? Whatever the reason, it’s a great one and justified.

Happy trails
Donna George

5 Desires Of Every Heart

 

A heart being used as a symbol of love. Photo ...

We all have desires in our heart that keep us pressing forward to the next day. For some of us, they are upfront for all the world to see, screaming through our body language, waiting to be embraced by others. And for others, it might be buried in the clutter, long forgotten and removed.

Most of the treasures in our heart are not so different from others. In fact, I think we all are similar in our needs to be satisfied and feel validated. The physical conditions of the heart is known by medical experts, but the desires of the heart can only be felt and are more complex to understand. There are thousands of metaphors about this epic organ that have stood the test of time. You have probably heard many of them and wrestled with them first hand. Some of my favorites spoken to me during my hard decision-making times and the ones I still ask myself are:

Should I follow my heart or my head?

  • Oh, but they have a big heart.
  • Home is where the heart is.
  • My heart feels so heavy.
  • I should speak from the heart.
  • I poured out my heart to someone.
  • I have a weak spot in my heart for that person or a cause that draws me.
  • My head is saying this, but my heart says something else.

Sand heart

We’ve all heard these clichés and use them when the situations seems right to make us feel better about our decisions, as if our brain operates out of our heart. We all know the brain is where we make decisions, but the “happy place” dwells in the heart. So we strive to continue to keep the connection between the two places in alignment through agreement.

Any list of “heart” expression can quickly highlight aspects of human relationships and personalities: attitudes, social behavior, fear, love, acceptance, rejection, and the list goes on and on. The messages of the heart are not yet understood by leading top professionals today, but there is agreement among the group that the HEAD & HEART work together in unity for a persons well-being. This is clear in the damage that stress, anxiety, depression can do to the human heart. The pharmaceutical world is getting rich on this factoid, just look at the millions of people who are taking drugs daily for heart sickness that’s not physical. 

The great news is that just as the negative in our life beats up our heart, the positive emotions repairs it and keeps it healthy. We are humans not robots! The heart feels stuff, intangible things like love, kindness, laughter and joy. Did you know that when you are laughing and happy your arteries respond more productively as compared to being stressed out where the arteries constrict? This is a great reason to laugh more and look for funny movies and upbeat influencers to be around in your life. When the heart is at peace and happy, the body seems to regulate at a higher endurance. Scheduling stress free time is necessary and proven that we need it.

Since I began my journey writing, I have discovered many things about myself and about others. Having the time to stop and listen to the trials of others, I have noticed patterns that seems to bother everyone on some level. Every heart has deep needs and probably not so different from some of your very own. I decided to make a list, here is the top 5 desires.

1. The need to feel loved by someone. To be happy and fulfilled with healthy relationships.

2. Approval and acceptance by others, at least someone. Trying to escape loneliness.

3. Recognition or acknowledgment of moving in the right direction for improvement. A positive encourager or friend.

4. The idea of HOPE and the belief it exists for them, no matter how small the amount.

5. The belief that there is a God up there who can hear their prayers and watch over them. Faith.

I believe Helen Keller understood the heart matter and she left us this quote.

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt by the heart” 

What are the desires of your heart? Do you know anymore; are you living them out loud? 

English: Love Heart symbol

February, the month of love is on the horizon, how will you share the love? 

Love

Donna George 🙂

Dear Readers, 3 Surprising Ways To Be Happier Everyday

life quote, small things

It’s Winter, gloomy, cold outside and the sky turns dark way too early. This is not exactly the kind of stuff that propels you toward the “pursuit of happiness”. I can share three simple tips that can help brighten your day, by offering you something to try. I promise, its super easy.

1. Wake up and be grateful, you’re alive, breathing and able to start over. Renew anything you desire, just by acknowledging it. Say it out loud so your ears can hear what your mind is declaring.

grateful

2. Find a quote about life you love, one that will inspire you to think bigger than yourself. Place it somewhere you will see it right away when you wake up. After you read the quote a few times, it will become a sticky note in your head. Make a decision to commit to work towards the goal of your quote. You can choose a quote for different specific life applications, like a quote that relates to work, fashion, friendships or family, but get started with a general one. This is one of my personal favorites…

Life quote

3. Woe girl, ease up on your expectations! When your expectations are too high, you could be setting yourself up for disappointment. And when this happens we can’t enjoy the good surprises life brings. There are only 24 hours in a day. Worrying about the “What If’s” of tomorrow, takes the fun out of today. Just do more of what makes you happy!

We all want to be happier, yet many of us find it challenging to achieve and even harder to maintain. Happiness has little to do with money, but more to do with the way we spend our lives and more to do with people around us.

Ultimately, it’s up to us to focus our attention on the beauty of life instead of the problems. Show a little gratitude, be intentional with your thoughts, and find a peaceful flow. You are smiling already :). I knew you had it in you, why else would you be reading a blog about “Beyond Extraordinary Days”?

just smileHappy Trails,

Donna George

Blooming Azaleas Make Greenfield Lake Beautiful

Every year blooming azaleas make Greenfield Lake, a beautiful place to visit in Wilmington NC.

Gorgeous cypress trees, draping in lilac wisteria, loaded with wiry moss, set the background for explosive, colorful blooming azaleas, in reds, whites, purples and pinks. A perfect backdrop to enjoy a serene day in the park.

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Visit the Hugh Morton Amphitheater  for a full schedule of concerts and outdoor events for the spring and summer headliners.

If you aren’t interested in one of the events, the 5 mile running path in the scenic view might interest you. The bridges are lovely and the views are spectacular. Or why not try out a paddle boat and cruise around the lake for some old fashion fun.

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The Park is conveniently located just minutes from Downtown Wilmington – A must see destination. Take an afternoon stroll, plan a picnic or head out for one of the events. And don’t forget your camera! It’s worth it. You will meet plenty of nature friends, ducks, geese, and friendly squirrels.

Happy trails

Donna George