symbolic meaning of seagulls

Symbolic Meaning of Seagulls

Last Updated on September 30, 2020 by Avia

Flying With Symbolic Meaning of Seagulls

The symbolic meaning of seagulls is a lot more deep and involved than you might think. They are experts at recycling and help keep our planet clean. They are messengers of changing times and tides. Seagulls are symbols of communication and community. Read more about the symbolic meaning of seagulls here.

More often than not, inspiration for symbolic topics on this website comes from readers like you. This post on symbolic meaning of seagulls was prompted from a question I got.  Olivia sent me the following message:

“Seagulls have been everywhere for me. I don’t live near the beach, and I’ve never really noticed this many seagulls where I am before. This made me wonder if the seagulls are symbolic of something? Can you share any information as to what seeing all these seagulls might mean?”

Of course, I had a response! I meditated on seagulls for awhile, and I was mightily rewarded by their presence in my awareness.  This article on the meaning of seagulls is my response to Olivia’s question.

David J. Crotty Photography on Etsy

The moniker “seagull” is ubiquitous. There are actually several different kinds of gulls, but most of us clump them under the name “seagull”. In truth, it’s a poor name, because seagull’s aren’t found exclusively by the sea. They are often found inland, and can thrive in both fresh and salt water areas. This is a good start to symbolic meaning of seagulls. It speaks about opportunity, resources and adaptability.

Seagulls go where they can find the best food. They are notorious for scavenging landfills, picking over refuse in parking lots, and other garbage sites. In a symbolic sense, the seagull reminds us to move where the best resources might be. Many of us deny ourselves opportunities because we feel safe in our comfort zone. Not so for the opportunistic seagull. These birds may be a sign to fly out of our realm of comfort, maybe take a risk, and do so with the goal of finding better conditions for our well-being.

meaning of seagulls
Symbolic meaning of seagulls

“We can lift ourselves out of ignorance,

we can find ourselves as creatures of excellence and

intelligence and skill.

We can be free! We can learn to fly!”

~ Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull

Their tendency to pick over wastelands of trash left behind by humans is also symbolic, in my mind. It speaks to me of recycling. The seagull is the ultimate scavenger. When seagulls show up on my scene, it makes me mindful of making the most out of what I have.

I’m reminded of the value of resources, and not to be wasteful. Seagulls also inspire me to re-purpose stuff. I love thrift stores, yard sales and such. I rarely see a reason to buy new things. Rather, I prefer to make new uses for old things. This is a great aspect of symbolic meaning of seagulls.

Symbolic Meanings For Seagulls

  • Family
  • Freedom
  • Adaptation
  • Intelligence
  • Opportunistic
  • Resourcefulness
  • Communication

The word “gull” is derived from “gullible”. It’s named thusly, presumably because the seagull will swallow anything it can cram down its gullet. Symbolically, this begs the question: “Do we swallow everything we hear or see?” In essence, this aspect of seagull symbolism encourages using our wits to determine the truth. This seagull behavior reminds us to discern, rather than blindly follow without further investigation.

meaning of seagulls
meaning of seagulls

Seagulls are quite chatty. They have no problems squawking and letting their voices be heard. As far as the symbolic meaning of seagulls goes, this is a pretty big sign. Seagulls might be a reminder to find our voices, and be fearless about speaking our minds.

Many cultures associate the seagull with freedom. The book by Richard Bach called “Jonathan Livingston Seagull” is a modern cultural legend that reinforces that essence of freedom the seagull is known for. The story is about a seagull who is disenchanted with the common way of seagull-life. He strives to break from the shackles of convention. He pushes himself to fly ever higher, and perform more elaborate flight maneuvers in an effort to be free from the mundane.

When seagulls soar into our consciousness, it might be a sign to break out of the same, boring routing. It might be time to fly high, show the world our potential, and dare to be free from what the world expects us to be.

I hope these observations about symbolic meaning of seagulls helps you with your exploration about the bird entering your life.

Seagull blessings,


Take Away Tips About Symbolic Meaning of Seagulls

meaning of seagulls

It’s a family affair
Sly and the Family Stone might have been singing about seagulls when they came out with that hit song “It’s a family affair.” Seagulls are all about family and community. Mates monogamous, and partner for life. Groups of seagulls known as ‘colonies’ are extremely tight-knit. Seagulls teach us about loyalty and the power of community.

meaning of seagulls

Opportunity knocks!
The symbolic meaning of seagulls revolves a lot around opportunity. These birds find resources in the most unlikely places. Gulls are adaptable, and extremely clever when it comes to surviving and thriving.

meaning of seagulls

Smart talker!
Seagulls are super-social. Much of this behavior is displayed in communication. Gulls have an impressive and diverse vocabulary. In this way, seagulls teach us that communication is key. They also remind us that there are many ways to get our point across, and vocalizing in smart ways is the best approach to solving social conflicts.

knowing your animal totem

A Collection of Animal Totem Meanings

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animal totems, animal totem meanings, bird meanings, symbolic birds

Symbolic Meaning of Birds

Birds are fantastic messengers and teachers. Paying attention to birds gives us lessons like freedom, protecting family and being resourceful. This article offers a whole list of birds and their meanings. From falcons to finches, check out symbolic bird meanings here. (WYS) is a trusted Etsy affiliate & Amazon Associate. We also promote certain products we've tested and approved. As such, the website features sponsored products for Amazon or Etsy or other afiliates. Should you make a purchase from a link on this website, WYS may receive a small commission. This website also hosts advertisements. Please see our policy page for further information. Thank you for your purchases, as it contributes to keeping this website online and running.