Why do sea gulls fly so close to the
surface of the sea when off shore? To me it looks like they gain speed doing this daring manover as I observed while travelling at speed on a vessel. If you can you elaborate that would be great.
There is in aerodynamics, a phenomenon called “Ground Effect.” (The effect of added aerodynamic buoyancy produced by a cushion of air below a vehicle moving close to the ground.) It is where the air under a wing is being squeezed between the wing and the ground. The height of the ground effect depends on the size of the wing. So seagulls glide close to the surface because it is easier to glide there. Pelicans use ground effect, as do other sea birds.