Seagulls Soar

seagulls soar by April pulley sayre

Award-winning author April Pulley Sayre explores everyone's favorite impertinent birds--seagulls--examining their intelligence, behavior, and surprisingly widespread habitat in this STEAM nonfiction picture book.

Did you know that seagulls sometimes live far from the sea--near a lake or farm, or even in a desert? Or that they are omnivores, eating everything from fish and clams, to grasshoppers and mice, and even to blueberries? Or that they dance? These birds are full of surprises! Join April Pulley Sayre as she poetically describes the curious behaviors and wide-ranging habitats of one of the most graceful birds to soar in the sky.---from the publisher

 

32 pages                      978-1-68437-197-6                  Ages 4-8

Keywords:  birds, seagulls, nature, STEAM, narrative nonfiction, behavior, animals, ecology, zoology, 4 year old, 5 year old, 6 year old, 7 year old, 8 year old

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“I call to the seagull who dives to the waters

And catches his silver-fine dinner alone

Crying where are the footsteps that danced on these beaches

And the hands that cast wishes that sunk like a stone”

-- Joni Mitchell, “Song to a Seagull” (1966)

 

“Seagulls learn, remember and even pass on behaviours such as stamping their feet in a group to imitate rainfall and trick earthworms in to coming to the surface…

Seagulls can drink both fresh and saltwater. Most animals are unable to do this, but seagulls have a special pair of glands right above their eyes which is specifically designed to flush the salt from their systems through openings in the bill.”

-- from One Kind Planet, “Amazing Facts About the Seagulls” (2016)

 

I’m worried about the seagulls. So many of the restaurants, bars, and concession stands they normally frequent have closed indefinitely because of the coronavirus. I fear that those seagulls who have learned to mooch off of seaside tourists, and clean up their garbage, are confused about the sudden shortage of people's food. I hope these intelligent, observant, and resourceful omnivores are figuring out alternative sources of sustenance.

 

“Seagulls circle.

Truckloads tip.

Gulls on garbage

rip and flip.

 

Seagulls follow.

Tractors plow.

Insects turned up?

Seagulls chow!”

 

No other wild birds deliberately spend so much of their time in close proximity to humans.

Whether poking through garbage at landfills; following tractors and plucking unearthed bugs; hovering around fishing trawlers at work; or hanging out at piers, stealing and begging; these clever birds are familiar to most children.

 

Featuring a text structured in ballad format and great digital illustrations, SEAGULLS SOAR is a lively picture book depicting seagulls engaged in a variety of behaviors, including hatching and nurturing baby seagulls. Following the conclusion of the rhyming text, the author includes two pages packed with seagull facts, many of which expand upon the content in the verses:

“Gulls fly or paddle close to humpback whales that are feeding. As the whales surface, gulls catch fish that are trying to flee from the whales. Sometimes gulls swoop to grab fish right out of the whale’s  mouth!”

I’m sorry, but I am going to think far less kindly of seagulls, if one ever tries stealing food out of my mouth.

In these uncertain times, I’m rooting for the seagulls to employ their ingenuity and stay adequately fed until the human world returns to its normal patterns.

 

Recommended by:  Richie Partington, MLIS, California  USA

See more of Richie's Picks  http://richiespicks.pbworks.com

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