Why were seagulls dancing in Trinity College Dublin this week?

Gull seen tapping its feet on one of Trinity’s green areas

A dancing seagull has been seen on the greens of Trinity College. Seagulls stamp their feet on grass to make the worms think it is raining, helping to entice them to the surface.

 

“Hi, it’s Niamh Towey from The Irish Times here. Great to be Friday, ha?

“So, em, I was just wondering, could you tell me why seagulls were dancing in Trinity this week?”

On a morning of very serious breaking news, this was not the phonecall I had been expecting to make when I came into work this morning.

Why was this seagull dancing like he was Kevin Bacon in a warehouse in 1984?

Was it because he had just stuffed his face with an arts student’s lunch?

Did he get three stars on a Winning Streak scratch card?

Maybe your one with the lovely beak said yes to the date?

Rather disappointingly, it was for none of those reasons.

“Seagulls fluidise the soil by dancing up and down on it so that worms and other insects might float up to the surface,” Steve Newton from Birdwatch Ireland explained.

“It mixes the water and soil together. If they get the rhythm right it gets the insects up.

“You often see them doing it after it’s been raining, but they do it all year round by the coast and on Sandymount strand,” Mr Newton added.

So there you go, next time you see a seagull prancing around St Stephen’s Green like a miniature Michael Flatley, don’t presume it’s all just for fun.