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Can You Pet a Gray Gull

  • Pet Care

Introduction Of Gray Gull: A Petable Seabird?

Gray Gulls (Larus modestus) are the smallest species of sea gulls that are native to the Pacific Northwest and near-shore waters along the coast of California. These seabirds have grayish-brown plumage, black legs, and bright orange beaks. They have a white forehead, black eye rings, and a few white tips on their wings. As their name implies, these sea gulls have an affinity for drifting out at sea where they will ride the ocean’s waves for hours on end.

Gulls are considered a pest by many people because of their habit of scavenging and begging for food from the docks and restaurants. When people think of gulls, they often think of “seagulls” which are a specific species of gull that can be very pesky and even dangerous. Despite the bad reputation of many gull species, Gray Gulls are quite docile and even endearing creatures. So when it comes to the question of whether or not one can pet a Gray Gull, the answer is a resounding yes—but that doesn’t mean it’s advisable.

Gray Gull as a pet

How Do We Know It’s Okay To Pet A Gray Gull?

The first step in assessing whether or not it’s okay to pet a Gray Gull is to understand the species’ behavior and personality. Gray Gulls tend to be very friendly and inquisitive when it comes to humans. They may even follow humans around in hopes of getting food. This can lead to them forming attachments with certain people and may even lead to them being comfortable enough to land on someone’s arm or shoulder.

These birds will also form strong bonds with other members of their flock and can be very protective of their loved ones. This means that if you do manage to get close enough, you may garner the gull’s trust and even get it to land on your arm or shoulder.

That being said, it’s also important to remember that these birds are wild animals, and even though they may appear to be friendly and inquisitive, they can still be unpredictable and potentially dangerous if they feel threatened or startled. It’s especially important to use caution when interacting with them and to always be aware of their behavior.

How Can I Best Approach A Gray Gull?

If you’re looking to interact with a Gray Gull, it’s important to take a few safety precautions. First and foremost, always use slow, deliberate movements and avoid sudden changes in direction and speed. Speak calmly and quietly and never try to grab the bird or force it in any way.

Instead, try to make yourself as approachable as possible. If you’ve got food, offer it from a distance with your arm outstretched. If it takes the food, keep your hand out and let it come and perch on it. As it’s eating, you can try petting it gently with your other hand.

If the bird doesn’t take the food, don’t force it. Instead, try to move slowly toward it and keep your arms at your side. The bird will probably back away, but if it doesn’t, you can try to bring your hand up slowly, palm up, and let it come to perch on your arm or hand. As with food, you can then pet it gently.


Gray Gulls can make great pets—but that doesn’t mean you should rush out and try to domesticate one. These birds are wild animals and should be approached with caution and respect. Also, keep in mind that it’s illegal to own a wild bird in many states. If you do decide to try to interact with these charming birds, always remember to use gentle, slow movements, never try to grab them, and let them come to you. With patience and understanding, these birds can make a loyal and fun companion.

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