For any Dr. Doolittles out there, when a seagull makes a "cooing" sound, is it more like the "miaow" of a cat, or the purring of a cat?

Specifically, when the seagulls "talk" to each other, it is oftentimes in barks or croaks; whether they mean by these sounds "watch out!" or "look at that!" or "get out of my way!" I don't know.

But when I feed them bread by flinging it heavenward along the strand, whilst they swoop down and snap it with their beaks, those anticipating a tasty morsel are making sounds, not like the cawing of a crow (Monterey, where I live, should be renamed "Crow City"), but more like a dove, or the whining of a puppy. Is this sound akin to a contented sigh ("isn't this great!") or is it more of a begging sound ("Gimme summa dat bread!")?

  • 3
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic, but it could have been "unclear what your are asking" as well. I feel like questions purely about animal behavior belong to biology and even if it is on topic, it is not clear to me, what you actually want to know.
    – imsodin
    Commented Mar 29, 2016 at 18:12
  • 3
    The question/title says it precisely. Commented Mar 29, 2016 at 18:17
  • Yes there is a clear answer to your question: either begging or sighing. Still I do not understand what those mean - maybe that's just my ignorance, lets wait and see what others have to say.
    – imsodin
    Commented Mar 29, 2016 at 18:23
  • For further discussion, please see this new Meta -- meta.outdoors.stackexchange.com/questions/751/… Commented Mar 30, 2016 at 17:44

1 Answer 1


The sound you are referring to is probably a plaintive call used to attract attention (of a mate or from the little ones to the parents for feeding) it might just be them wanting to be fed. You can find a better explanation with sound samples here: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Herring_Gull/sounds


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