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Can You Keep A Seagull As A Pet?

With seagulls moving further and further inland away from the coast, more and more people are coming into seagulls on an increasingly frequent basis.

Although seagulls are wild animals, the further inland they migrate, the more unfamiliar predators they come into contact with creating some unique situations for seagulls to overcome.

This has resulted in a number of baby seagulls having to fly the nest early to avoid predators such as hawks, eagles, and other animals while their parents are away searching for good.

Some of these baby seagulls are then raised by humans and essentially become somewhat of a seagull pet that are sometimes even tame enough to take food directly from a human hand.

Some of the people who have raised these baby seagulls have started to share photographs and videos on social media resulting in more and more questions being asked about keeping a seagull as a pet.

Due to seeing so many people reaching out about keeping seagulls as pets recently and the number of people asking these questions steadily increasing with each month that goes by, we have decided to dedicate this post to keeping pet seagulls and how you can offer them the best care possible.

Can You Keep A Seagull As A Pet?

Due to most types of seagulls being protected animals, it is actually illegal to keep seagulls as actual pets.

That said though, many baby seagulls that fall into peoples gardens and yards and require care can bond with humans and return to them each year and act in a very similar way to any other pet bird.

An often overlooked issue with these baby seagulls who have to fly the nest early is that they may actually be injured.

These injuries could be due to a preditor attacking them and causing them to flee the nest or just the fall from their nest to the ground as most baby seagulls are not able to fly very well.

If you do notice anything that looks odd about the baby seagull that is in your yard or garden and think that it may be injured and want to take care of it, a quick video call with a professional vet is usually the best course of action to take.

Video calls with vets are much cheaper than a trip to your local veterinarian and they are usually able to recommend the best course of action to help an injured seagull that you are taking care of.

Are Pet Seagulls Illegal?

Keeping a seagull as a pet is illegal in most areas due to seagulls being protected animals and confining one being classed as a crime.

If a baby seagull does end up in your yard or garden and you feed it then the birds usually form a strong bond with you and will often come back to you in the future though.

Although these are not strictly pets and are still wild animals, this is what the majority of people on social media are doing when they post photographs or videos of their “pet seagull”.

There have been multiple reports of people who have fed a baby seagull and nursed it back to health to form a bond with the bird only for the bird to end up nesting near them as an adult and bringing its babies to meet its humans.

This type of interaction with seagulls in discouraged in most places but in reality, there is nothing much people are able to do to enforce it. If a baby seagull does end up in your garden or yard then you are able to care for it if you choose.

Although some areas may have a animal control or a charity that may come to your property to take the seagull away to care for it, many areas have nothing like this so you can usually feed a baby seagull to help it survive without getting into trouble.

How Do You Tame A Seagull?

It is very hard to tame a seagull fully but forming a bond with a seagull and slowly building up trust is much easier than most people think.

As with many animals, seagulls are motivated by easy food so you are often able to win over a seagull by giving it food and spending time close to it so it starts to build up a bond with you and trust you.

The problem is that most human foods are way too high in salt and preservatives for a seagull to digest easily so different types of raw fish are usually the best food option.

Although a large number of people do feed seagulls bread, they are not able to survive on that diet due to bread having such a low nutritional profile compared to what a seagull requires to live a healthy life.

This is why some people will either use freeze dried fish treats designed for cats or dogs as a food source for a seagull they are caring for or fish products designed for human consumption.

If you do get fish products that have been designed for humans then be sure to only use the ones that come in water or are raw without a sauce. Many of the sauces that are on fish products for people are not ideal for a seagull and may cause problems.

Do Seagulls Make Good Pets?

Seagulls can’t be kept as pets in most areas due to being a protected bird but some people do care for seagulls and feed them so the seagull will return to their home.

Although this can offer a unique relationship with the bird, it also comes with downsides as seagulls can be very loud, dive at people and other pets if they have babies near by and can scratch car paint with ease if they land on your car.

That said, seagulls are relatively unique in many regards when cared for as a sort of pet due to being such an intelligent bird.

Some people have even managed to train seagulls that they have a bond with to do various tricks or to even play fetch but this does take a long amount of time so don’t expect this kind of bond with a seagull quickly.

Seagulls have been known to show affection to humans in their own way too but again, this does take many months to build up a bond strong enough for this kind of behavior from a seagull.

As we touched on earlier in the article, there have also been multiple reports of a baby seagull that has been cared for by a human like a pet growing into an adult and then bringing their own babies to meet you.

This can lead to problems as it is essentially a cycle of dependency and the seagull’s natural skills to get its own food may not develop correctly though.

Do Pet Seagulls Remember You?

Seagulls are intelligent birds and are able to remember humans that they form a bond with and are familiar with.

There are countless examples from all around the world of seagulls being cared for by humans and coming to them to see them each year when they are nesting on land.

Although rarer, seagulls have also been documented to remember families of humans who have offered them food as babies too with the seagull being able to identify multiple people out of a crowd with ease.

There is even one example of a seagull and a dog forming a bond and becoming friends with the seagull being able to remember the dog and the humans who fed it as a baby too.

This can work against you though as many seagulls in public places will remember humans who have fed them previously and then pester the humans in the future, especially if they are carrying food.

This is why so many public parks that have seagulls in their water features are strictly enforcing their rules of not feeding the seagulls.


That brings our article going over keeping a seagull as a pet to an end. We hope that we have been able to help you better understand the ins and outs of caring for a baby seagull that may end up in your garden or yard as well as having pointed out the various potential drawbacks of feeding seagulls. That said though, even with these drawbacks, more and more people are caring for seagulls with each year that passes resulting in more and more people reaching out with various questions about caring for them.