Can You Keep A Seagull As A Pet?

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Written By Editorial Staff
Reviewed By June Hart

Veterinary Experts

Gulls or Seagulls are wild birds found near the coastline. It is a large bird found along the sea coast. Increasingly people have been asking if seagulls can be domesticated and kept as a pet.

Seagulls are wild species and should not be considered as domesticated bird. You will now wonder if seagulls are wild birds; how come some people claim to have them as a pet? How did they come in touch with the human population?

As we know the human population is expanding and occasionally overlaps with the wild population on many occasions. You must have seen videos of wild animals like bears and foxes crawling up in the backyard.

This is due to the expansion of human habitat and the same can be said about wild birds such as seagulls. Being a primarily migratory bird, Seagulls usually return to coastlines every year for nesting and creating babies.

It is here that they usually encounter the human population. Sometimes, a baby seagull might fall off the nest and end up in human care.

Can You Keep A Seagull As A Pet?

No, you cannot keep a seagull as a pet in the United States. Seagulls are protected birds under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 and cannot be kept in captivity.

To keep a seagull in your house, you will require special authorization from state and federal wildlife agencies.

Further, since seagulls are not domesticated, they do not make great pets. They are wild species and should be treated as such.

What If I Catch A Seagull By Accident? Can I Keep It As A Pet?

You are still required to release it in the open even if you happen to catch it accidentally.

Occasionally a baby seagull may fall into your backyard or garden and require care due to injuries. Injuries can be because of a fall or some predator.

After providing the requisite care, they must be let free. It can surely bond with the humans to some extent and return every year.

Do not confine them to your house as this will be considered illegal, and you may have to pay heavy fines.

If you find an injured seagull in your backyard, report it to your local wildlife agency and take it to a vet for treatment.

Do Seagulls Remember You?

If you do happen to bond with a seagull somehow, for example, a baby seagull fell in your yard, and you nursed it back to health and then released it, gulls will most likely remember you and pay a visit each year.

Many people have reported this experience in various internet forums. Nonetheless, seagulls are intelligent birds and can remember human experiences.

For example, there are documented instances where seagulls remember the families who cared for them as babies.

So if you do happen to form a strong bond with them, the seagull will most likely visit you back in the next migratory season to say hello!

Are Seagulls Friendly?

Seagulls are not known to be overly friendly. In fact, you can find several videos on the internet where they behave as bullies snatching your food and other stuff.

Be careful around the seagulls; they are strong and stoic and can be unpredictable as they are wild animals and not domesticated pets.

Having said that, they can show affection towards humans if they have been cared for earlier.

Remember, if you feed the seagulls, they will surely return for more. However, this can go wrong as they tend to be a bit aggressive in terms of snatching food and belongings from humans.

Seagulls are loud, dive at pets with babies (thinking of them as food), and can easily scratch vehicles with their sharp beaks and claws.

It is advisable to keep your small pets safe and away from seagulls least they attack them.

Can You Tame A Seagull Like A Pet?

It is tough to tame a seagull as they spend very little time in the company of humans unlike other birds such as parrots.

However, if you do get a chance to form a bond with one then they can behave as a pet but can hardly be called as ‘tamed’.

How Long Do Seagulls Live For?

Seagulls live for 10-20 years. However, the average life expectancy varies between regional species and can be between 5 and 20 years. Fun fact: There are over 45 species of seagulls in the world.

What Do Pet Seagulls Eat?

Seagulls primarily eat fish. It is their staple diet. However, they are known to eat rodents and insects as well. Seagulls are omnivorous, so they can eat both plants and animals.

You can also try feeding them some high-quality wild bird food that is nutritious and delicious. Avoid feeding them food items that are high in salt and preservatives.

Many people tend to feed them white bread. Seagulls require high-quality nutritional food with good protein content. So please do not feed them items such as white bread, pasta, etc.

Seagulls do enjoy freeze-dried fish treats as well. They are excellent scavengers and love feeding on meat.

Can A Seagull Bite Your Finger Off?

Very likely. Seagulls have sharp beaks meant for hunting and can cause significant damage if it tries to snatch food from your hand when you are not looking.

Be careful around these wild birds. Of course, the bird’s intention may not be to harm you but being a wild species, its natural instinct is to hunt for food.

Your finger might end up being collateral damage in the process. So, avoid feeding them directly with your hand.

Instead, use professional animal handling gloves which are bite-proof for your safety, or keep the food out on the porch.


In conclusion, we can say that Seagulls should not be kept as a pet. It is a protected wild species, and we must respect this.

The population of seagulls is in decline due to expanding human population, so we must take extra care when handling a seagull that has come into human care.

These wonderful wild birds should be released into the wild once treated to continue their migratory nesting process.

Seagulls will remember your kindness if you have ever cared for them as babies. So be on the lookout for a visit each year!

Thanks for reading! If you have enjoyed reading our content, please refer it to your family and friends.

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