Hi

Off New Brunswick's Northern Peninsula, there's a bit of a sandstone cliff standing alone called Seagull Island. It's a very noisy island but, every day at midday (can't say "noon" because it could be a couple of minutes before or after), the birds become silent.  Eerie! Why is that?

Thanks
Linda

That's an interesting observation but without knowing more I wouldn't like to hazard even a working hypothesis to explain it! It would be really interesting to see data on this from Seagull island and elsewhere to see a) if this pattern is really repeatable through time (humans are notoriously good at "seeing" patterns even when none really exist), b) if so, does it occur in other places.

If you type "seagull" into our search box (top right of the screen) you'll see we get a lot of questions about seeming "odd" behaviours in gulls. Unfortunately at the moment it is largely anecdotal - which is to say lots of interesting but isolated observations and very little hard data. In fact, while there is lots of research on gul species, most of it focuses on population dynamics, reproductive biology and migration/dispersal so we don't know that much about teh details of gul behaviour (compared to say birds in the crow family).

Sorry - I realise I haven't actually answered your question. I think the bottom line is we don't know!

Thanks and to reinforce the issue of isolated and anecdotal information, one would have to study noise levels at say half hour intervals from 11am to 1pm each day over at least 2 weeks to measure the degree of natural variation in noise that occurs randomly and only then could you determine whether a "dip" in levels occurred at or near midday.