I have a bit of a love hate relationship when it comes to seagulls. I always go on and on about how I love the Great British seaside and going to the beach just isn’t the same without their constant squawking noise. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. But I find that I’m starting to hate them because they poop on you, they are big and scary and they are turning into menaces and it’s the fault of the human population. Why? Because people keep feeding seagulls!!!
Why We Shouldn’t Be Feeding Seagulls
Baby seagull before it turns into a beast
Seagulls are scavenger birds, a bit like flying rats. You’ll often see them digging around in bins, ripping open bin bags. I’m pretty sure by us NOT feeding seagulls, they aren’t going to go hungry.
I’m not saying we shouldn’t feed them to be mean, its actually causing problems by ‘us’ doing so.
One of my favourite things to do, is to sit on the sea wall or on the beach and eat seaside treats, whether that be fish and chips, ice cream, warm donuts…! But in all honesty, it scares me a little bit now as I’m always on guard.
I’m sure we’ve all seen it. People doing the same. Just sitting outside with their food and then tossing a nearby seagull a harmless chip (fry for any American readers). Before you know it, you’ve got a whole flock around you where all their seagull mates have surrounded you, all wanting a piece of the action.
There’s no problem right? Just flap at them and they’ll fly away?
Seaside resorts have been trying their best for years to try and discourage the public from feeding seagulls. There are signs everywhere saying ‘Don’t feed the seagulls, they will attack’. And of course, people ignore them.
No excuse, sometimes the signs are in more than one language.
I’d never actually seen a seagull attack…until recently. When I was in North Wales, I saw 3 seagulls, in 2 days, swoop and attack.
We were sat on the seawall, minding our own business eating some cakes that we’d bought from a nearby bakery. Next thing you know, a giant seagull swooped in from BEHIND and snatched the last tiny bit of cake from right out of my dad’s hand, as he was just about to put it in his mouth.
AND it sliced his finger open and made him bleed.
Now he isn’t a wimp and he said it damn hurt. It completely took him by surprise as the seagull attacked from behind. He felt a sharp pain and wondered what the hell had happened as it was all over so quickly.
Naturally we all got a bit scared and tried to escape the savage and as my mum was walking way, it then tried to swoop down on her, once again from behind. But by this time we saw what was close to happening and obviously screamed at her to ‘run’.
Cute baby seagull
Some nearby workers were watching and heard all our shouting. One of the guys was telling us that it’s getting worse and worse because of people feeding the seagulls. The birds don’t know the difference…they see food and they just assume they can eat it because they are so used to being surrounded by food. They aren’t like dogs or pets where if they are doing something wrong, you scold them, they just get away with it.
There’s a reason why in the Disney Pixar movie ‘Finding Nemo’ the seagulls don’t make the regular seagull noise, they say ‘mine mine mine mine’.
Finding Nemo ‘seagull’ scene
The guy said that the week before a seagull had swooped a SMALL CHILD in a pushchair and actually cut the kid’s lip open. Can you imagine that?? A large bird biting your kid’s lip who’s just having a snack in the pushchair???
As mentioned earlier, seagulls dig around in bins, they aren’t the most hygienic birds. When their dirty ole beaks end up drawing blood, it’s so important to then make sure you thoroughly clean the wound because of all the potential germs.
A couple of days later after the ‘dad attack’, we were at a different seaside town. Now I can’t be 100% sure what happened at first, but while walking along the promenade, we saw a seagull swoop a teenage girl and again, at a pushchair.
Parents. Don’t let your kids do this.
We were in shock that we’d seen ANOTHER attack, but then the teenage girl then started trying to hand feed the seagulls. She was holding up bits of chip in the air, so of course, all sympathy went out the window and it just made me angry. The grown up she was with didn’t even bat an eyelid.
There’s a slight difference to throwing the food on the floor in the direction of the seagull compared to encouraging it to swoop down and take the food directly out of your hand. Of course Mr Scavenger Seagull did indeed keep taking the food from her. This is why they then attack unsuspecting victims because they’re not scared of humans anymore, they just want the food!
While researching for this post, I even discovered that ‘what to feed seagulls’ gets a fair few searches on google. WHY!? The signs everywhere say don’t feed the seagulls, so don’t! It’s just encouraging them to hurt people that don’t actually want to share their food. If you’re that worried about what to feed seagulls, set up a regular bird feeder and if they come they come. Beggars can’t be choosers.
So if you’re heading to the beach this summer, please don’t feed the seagulls.