Philadelphia, PA - If you're worried about seagulls eating your lunch on the beach, you're not alone. Many people have experienced this occurrence and want to know how to avoid them while enjoying a beachside lunch. You should remember that gulls are visually oriented creatures, and they'll attack any unprotected food they come across. Here are a few tips to help you keep gulls at bay.
How to Avoid Seagulls From Eating Your Lunch on the Beach
Always keep your food under cover while dining on the beach. Seagulls usually dive-bomb human food, so keep your food under cover. Even a simple cover will deter them. A gull can't eat food held in one's hand, so always remember to cover your food on the beach. Aside from this, you should keep your trash and leftover food out of their reach and never feed Seagulls on purpose.
While most people think of gulls as aggressive, this is not true in all cases. Studies in Cornwall have shown that gulls are often willing to steal human food. This behavior was observed when scientists placed a bag of chips on the ground and timed the time the gull took to peck the food. The gulls' reaction was significantly slower when people were present, although they did not notice the person observing them.
A study by the University of Exeter found that a mere two-minute stare at a gull could prevent them from stealing your food. It took the gulls 21 seconds longer to reach your snacks when they were distracted by watching people eating their lunch on the beach. Most Seagulls will just wait till you accidentally drop something or throw some food their way. However, try to avoid doing both, for Seagulls come in packs and circle around you if they feel they will get a free meal.
Another effective strategy is to hide your food and keep it out of the sight of gulls. A recent survey found that 53 percent of beachgoers had their food ripped off by gulls. Forty-four percent of those who'd suffered from gull attacks were fearful of eating outside because of this fear.
While the study only involved a few hundred gulls, it's clear that they pay attention to your gaze. They react more slowly when they see humans watching them, and they may stay a few feet further away if they are being watched. A good rule of thumb is to ensure you're not staring at the gulls while they're eating your lunch.