When it comes to sleeping, seagulls tend to choose locations that offer them a good view of predators, such as open areas and locations with a high vantage point. It’s often common to see a flock of seagulls napping together, as they believe that there is safety in numbers and that other birds will be able to detect danger and alert them.
The position that seagulls sleep in can also be important. Typically, the birds will stand on one leg and tuck their beaks beneath their wings while they rest. This allows them to open their eyes every 10-15 seconds, allowing them to subconsciously scan their surroundings for predators. This is a behavior known as unihemispheric slow-wave sleep, and it’s one of the reasons that seagulls can keep half of their brain awake while they rest.
In urban areas, gulls can be found sleeping on house rooftops, in parks and even on the roofs of cars. This is likely because the location provides them with easy access to their favorite food source – dumpsters.
In the wild, gulls can be found on beaches, sandy shorelines, grassy fields and coastal structures such as piers. They are also quite accustomed to humans, so it’s not uncommon to find a huddle of seagulls napping in the hard-to-reach areas on ships and other seaborne vessels. They are also quite comfortable sleeping within reach of human settlements, and this is probably because they know that humans are not dangerous to them.