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Seagulls Get Divorced Too

February 2, 2010


The naturalist William Jordan wrote a small lovely book called Divorce Among the Gulls, in which he explained that even among seagulls – a species of bird that allegely mates for life – there exist a 25% “divorce rate.” Which is to say that one-quarter of all seagull couples fail in their first relationships – failing to the point that they must separate due to irreconcilable differences.

–Elizabeth Gilbert, Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace With Marriage

I have just finished Elizabeth Gilbert’s latest book (wonderful by the way) and a recent conversation with my husband goes like this:

Me: Did you know that in a flying-V formation if one bird has to drop out because they are injured or whatever, two other birds go down with it to make sure it is okay

Him: Ah. I did not know that.

Me: Did you know that seagulls have a 25% divorce rate?

Him: What?

Me: No, I am serious! They have 25% divorce rate. Gulls usually mate for life, see, and sometimes they get together with another gull and they don’t get along and they have to get a “divorce” and people don’t know why.

Him: People don’t know why, huh? *bemused smile*

By this time, I am thinking he is not taking me seriously.

Him: I am honestly, shocked I have not seen it on commercials during late night TV yet. “Do you argue with your partner about who hunts for food? Do you fight about who cleans the nest? Call Allen Gull at 800 123 4567 to get your settlement.”

Now I know I am not being taken seriously.

Me: Baby, really, they do argue about those things! They have to leave the flock and stuff I bet. Think about it, honey, maybe we are genetically predisposed to divorce like seagulls

Him: No we are not!

Me: How do you know we are not? I mean, seagulls get divorce, babe, and they have brains the size of camera batteries.

Him: Yes, I betcha you don’t see them sitting around talking with their other seagull buddies, “So why did you leave her?” “Oh you know, she has issues with dominant men, her father left her mother when she was a chick you know”. If gulls could talk the conversation probably went like this “So why did you leave her?” “Dude, I don’t know. I just did.” Because they are gulls, honey!

Did I ever mention what deep conversations my husband and I have?


Picture from Pixar’s “Finding Nemo”

One Comment leave one →
  1. February 3, 2010 6:21 pm

    You guys are too cute. Also seagulls are interesting.

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