Lemieux Island offers some great opportunities to see local gulls in the city. The small rocky islands offshore offer protected spots for these birds to nest and raise young.
In Ottawa, gulls nest as early as mid to late April but those that migrate later can be nesting into July.
Gulls nest directly in the dirt and their young have grey and brown feathers that blend into the surroundings. As the gulls mature their white adult plumage grows in.
The most common gull in Ottawa is the Ring-billed with an estimate of around 50,000 birds in our city. The less common ones, including the Herring, California and the Great Black-backed Gull, can also be found to nest here but in much smaller numbers.
These birds are adaptable omnivores, great scavengers, have intricate ways of communicating with each other and have a strong social structure, all of which provide them with advantages for survival.
Did You Know: While “Seagull” is used as a common name to describe similar gulls by lay people, there is actually misleading. In the scientific community, there is no such bird as the “Seagull”. Gulls along with Terns, Mews and other seabirds are all part of the Laridea family. They are not sea birds, but rather coastal or inland birds and many gulls can be found hundreds of kilometers inland and do not ever venture to the sea.