You may have noticed huge flocks of seagulls have been swarming Bristol during the past week or so.
One resident from South Purdown took photos and video of an enormous flock of “hundreds and hundreds” of seagulls yesterday evening (July 22).
Petra Finkenzeller said the birds circled for “hours and hours throughout the afternoon” and added that a similar incident happened last week.
A spokesman for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) has said the emergence of flying ants is the most likely reason behind the huge numbers of seagulls.
“My thought on the cause would be the emergency of flying ants and gulls feasting on them as they do,” he said.
(Image: Petra Finkenzeller)
“It’s always obvious because the flocking of the birds in the air is pretty random as they follow the insects.”
Flying Ants Day occurs when the insects sprout their wings and head off on what’s been crowned a ‘nuptial flight”.
During this time, the ants hunt to find a mate, before settling in a new place to start a colony.
Recent hot weather could mean Bristol could see more flying ants than ever before.
What are flying ants?
The most common type of flying ant is the black garden variety whose nests have a single queen. They have anything from 5,000 to 15,000 workers.
Amazingly while workers, who are all female, live for just one month, queens can live for more than a decade.
They spend most of their lives safely in their nest. In fact they only leave this haven for the “nuptial flight” as immature queens to mate and ultimately found their own colony.
After mating, the queens lose their wings – and those pesky larger ants you see walking around alone are new queens hunting for somewhere to set up their nest.
Flying ants are not dangerous and are unlikely to bite.
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