You’re in the middle of a nice summer adventure on the beach when you suddenly make eye contact with a beady-eyed monstrosity. He doesn’t move. In fact, he seems fixated on the hotdog you currently have midway in your mouth. You blink once and then there are two of them. Now three. And alas, you are surrounded. At this point in time, you find yourself slowly putting the hot dog down in front of you. With both of your hands held up – signifying a peace treaty – you back away one step at time.
If you’ve ever dropped food at the beach, this scenario is probably very familiar to you. Next time you encounter a flock of seagulls on your travels, be a man and stand your ground. Here’s how:
1. Eat in secret
Never. I repeat. Never feed a seagull intentionally or unintentionally. By discarding food or purposely feeding them, you reinforce the seagull’s belief that humans provide easy access to a reliable food source. Before you know it, they become a little too familiar with us and invite themselves (and their entire family) to join in on our beach picnics. Instead, try to eat food under the protection of an awing or while standing next to a wall.
For the most part, seagulls are peaceful creatures. They will only attack when they feel threaten by you or by something in their immediate environment. Thus, it’s a smart idea to bring an umbrella to the beach if you ever need to fend off a flock. The umbrella will protect you (and your head) because seagulls tend to attack the tallest part of what they perceive as a threat.
3. Water pistols
Believe it or not, a café in Teignmouth Devon called Dairy Maid actually gives its patrons Super soakers to deal with the seagull population at the beach. The big birds have become accustomed to stealing food right off of customers’ plates – from scones to even ice cream cones. But don’t worry, the guns are simply filled with tap water and won’t hurt the animals.
It’ll sure teach them a lesson though.