My two oldest gulls have recently started becoming aggressive with each other in their enclosure. There has been no serious fighting yet but there's been plenty of squabbling and bickering between the two birds.
It's like every time one gull has something, the other one will charge at him, flapping his wings and screeching, trying to get it (as though he's doing it deliberately to 'get one over' on him). This can be over food, perches, their 'watering hole', the best place in the sun to doze, anything really. There's been lots of snapping, chest puffing, beak locking, posturing, chasing and general rough behaviour between the two. Today, the older bird managed to pluck a couple of wing feathers from the younger one.
Both birds are males. One is about 10 years old, the other is 3/4-ish (he's nearly got all his adult plumage now). Is this just typical macho cock bird behaviour or is it something more serious? Anyone have any ideas as to what I can do?
It's not that they're even in a really confined space - there is plenty of room for all four of my gulls (the two yearlings hang around together all the time with no problems) but it's like the two oldest ones have been deliberately trying to seek each other out and get in each other's faces over the past two weeks.
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My two oldest gulls have recently started becoming aggressive with each other in their enclosure. There has been no serious ... have been deliberately trying to seek each other out and get in each other's faces over the past two weeks.

You see that often in male birds, male mammals, and even male humans. Usually it doesn't result in severe injury or death. On rare occasons it does. That's life. If you want to resolve the situation you'll need two enclosures. Then they'll probably want to be together.
My two oldest gulls have recently started becoming aggressive with ... get in each other's faces over the past two weeks.

You see that often in male birds, male mammals, and even male humans. Usually it doesn't result in severe injury ... That's life. If you want to resolve the situation you'll need two enclosures. Then they'll probably want to be together.

Louis, you made me laugh. After that last tax return I thought I'd never laugh again. Thanks.
I don't know a thing about keeping gulls, but I do know that they are really competitive when it comes to handouts. Usually the elders have the edge. They not only know how to intimidate the younger ones but they are just a little faster.
There were a bunch of beggars at the Burger King the other day (throw one French fry to one bird and instantly there are 50 birds waiting for the second fry) made up of gulls and crows. I was really surprised at how the crows were totally intimidated by the gulls. Usually the crows are brave but the gulls are much more aggressive and the young gulls had a hard time holding ground alongside the mature ones. Even when I tried to get a fry in front of a crow or a young gull, a mature gull was all over it.

Just my observation; I'm sure the behavior goes for everything they want and need in their lives.

Sincerely,
Joanne
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You see that often in male birds, male mammals, and ... need two enclosures. Then they'll probably want to be together.

Louis, you made me laugh. After that last tax return I thought I'd never laugh again. Thanks. I don't know ... all over it. Just my observation; I'm sure the behavior goes for everything they want and need in their lives.

That's for sure. Gulls will even take on an occasional fisherman to get his catch! I can't imagine keeping them as pets, I wasn't even aware they had been domesticated as pets.
My two oldest gulls have recently started becoming aggressive with each other in their enclosure. There has been no serious ... have been deliberately trying to seek each other out and get in each other's faces over the past two weeks.

At this point, you probably know more about the behavior and care of captive seagulls than all the other participants in this newsgroup combined. So far as I know, you're the only one who's actually doing it, while others of us ignorantly argue among ourselves about what you should or should not be doing with your gulls.
I have a few thoughts to offer, based on what little I know of animals in general.
It's not uncommon for male animals to behave aggressively toward one another, either to establish territory, or to establish dominance.

It may be that after a while, one of your two fighting gulls will accept the other as dominant, accept its own role as being below that of the other, and then there'll be peace again.
Of course, it may also be that the two will never get along, and that as long as they are together, they will continue to fight.

It's up to you to observe the behavior, and decide whether they pose a serious threat to one another's well-being, or to the well-being of the other younger gulls. If so, then you may need to separate them, and keep one in a different enclosure.
No guarantee that anything I've said is useful, though I hope it is.

"Today, we celebrate the first glorious anniversary of the Information Purification Directives. ... Our Unification of Thoughts is more powerful a weapon than any fleet or army on earth. ... Our enemies shall talk themselves to death and we will bury them with their own confusion."
That's for sure. Gulls will even take on an occasional fisherman to get his catch!

Once, on a beach in Goleta, I saw someone sit down at a picnic table with a sack lunch. That person turned his/her back on the bag for just a moment, and a seagull came along, grabbed the bag, and tried to fly off with it. The whole bag. Standard, lunch-sized brown paper bag, apparently well-filled, and the gull just picked it up with his beak and flew off.
Unfortunately for the gull, (and fortunately for the owner of that bag and its contents) the bag was enough of a burden to slow the gull down to where the owner was able to catch up and recover it.
I can't imagine keeping them as pets, I wasn't even aware they had been domesticated as pets.

So far as I know, they have not. If you'd followed her postings over the past year, you'd see that she started out with an injured seagull that had to have a wing amputated, and therefore could not survive in the wild. Somewhere along the way, someone brought three more crippled gulls to her, so now she has four.
http://tinyurl.com/ltzrt

"Today, we celebrate the first glorious anniversary of the Information Purification Directives. ... Our Unification of Thoughts is more powerful a weapon than any fleet or army on earth. ... Our enemies shall talk themselves to death and we will bury them with their own confusion."
Once, on a beach in Goleta, I saw someone sit down at a picnic table with a sack lunch. That ... Standard, lunch-sized brown paper bag, apparently well-filled, and the gull just picked it up with his beak and flew off.

I remember being on Clearwater Beach, FL.
The gulls would circle over the concession stand and swoop in as people emerged from under the roof of the stand and steal the hot dogs right off the buns. There were warning signs, but lots of people got their food stolen. It was really funny.
You see that often in male birds, male mammals, and even male humans. Usually it doesn't result in severe injury ... That's life. If you want to resolve the situation you'll need two enclosures. Then they'll probably want to be together.

I had that exact same problem with two cock budgies. I was given one by my mother who didn't have the time to look after him, so I tried to put him in the same cage as my existing (lone) bird. They tried to kill each other.
I tried both birds together in the other cage - they tried to kill each other.
I tried letting them both out into the room at the same time to get to know each other - they tried to kill each other.
Eventually, I had to settle with keeping them both in separate cages next to one another. Both birds would then spend most of the day hanging from the bars closest to the neighboring cage, innocently gazing, twittering and cooing at each other, trying to get as close as possible. Go figure.
Both birds are males. One is about 10 years old, the other is 3/4-ish (he's nearly got all his adult ... have been deliberately trying to seek each other out and get in each other's faces over the past two weeks.

You're in the UK aren't you? As it's getting into spring here, I'd imagine that both birds are getting hormonal, short-tempered and bitchy with the warmer weather. My local wild gulls seem to be fighting and chasing each other all the time at the moment. They're both probably trying to assert themselves as 'cock of the walk' and neither will back down.
I wouldn't worry about it unless they're seriously trying to kill/maim each other. Gulls squabble a lot (the fundamental rule that governs a gull's outlook on life seems to be "What's mine is mine and what's yours is also mine") but rarely seriously injure each other - they're all noise and bluster for the most part. As Bob said, keep an eye on them for a while and see if it calms down before you do anything else - one of them will probably get sick of it all and back down eventually.
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