Unlike other marine birds such as cormorants and pelicans, western gulls (Larus occidentalis) don’t have the ability to dive. They considered foraging generalists and have 3 primary foraging methods: picking up prey from the ground or intertidal zone, surface dipping (pictured here), and jump plunging (where gulls will jump off a rock head first to capture prey). They forage for a mixture of marine invertebrates and occasionally fish.
[Photo by Nick Chudeau and caption by Karli Chudeau]
Burger, J. (1988). Foraging Behavior in Gulls: Differences in Method, Prey, and Habitat. Colonial Waterbirds, 11(1), 9-23. doi:10.2307/1521165