Why Do Seagulls Have a Red Dot on Their Bills?


It's a behavioral cue: seagull chicks peck at their parents' red spots when they want to be fed. And it was partly on the basis of his research into this behavior that the Dutch biologist Niko Tinbergen received the 1973 Nobel Prize.

This post was inspired by a seagull who got too close today at lunch. For a bit more color on the subject, listen to this two minute clip from the utterly charming BirdNote.org.