The gull dance

Sea Gulls Fish Too by Old Shoe Woman Licensed under Creative Commons

Have you ever seen a gull stomping on the spot in shallow water or looking like it is doing a little jig on the grass?

This amusing behaviour of quickly raising alternate feet up and down (access the following link to watch a short video:, is known as ‘foot paddling’. It is thought that this movement suspends sediment in shallow water creating a type of quicksand, bringing invertebrates to the surface or making them move and become visible (O’Donnell, 2008). While foot paddling on moist grassy soil encourages earthworms to the surface in response to the vibrations (O’Donnell, 2008).

If we danced while shopping for food, life would be a lot more interesting!