Feeding Seagulls

A girl in a pink bikini standing on the beach with seagulls flying around her.

Please DO NOT FEED the Seagulls!

Your toes are in the sand, you can hear the sound of the waves crashing onto the beach, your rum drink is icy cold and delicious, but right as you go to take a bite of that sub sandwich you brought with you to the beach- a large flock of Tybee seagulls descend upon you with a Hitchcockian intensity.  Don’t blame the birds, this is a human created problem.

Everyone’s guilty of it at some point or the other, tossing a chip or some fries to a hungry looking gull who’s been eyeing you each time you crunch down on some delectable treat. Yet, when you do this, the birds seem to magically appear out of thin air. Before you know it, you are surrounded! Not only are you putting yourself at risk of being pooped on by a gull but your fellow beach goers at risk as well. GROSS!

There’s also the fact that a gull’s natural diet is generally crustaceans, insects, and fish. Unfortunately, the stuff that is thrown at them mainly consists of bread, French fries, potato chips, pizza and lunch meat. These foods have absolutely no nutritional value for gulls and can actually harm them. Think of it as a kind of bird version of the movie “Super Size Me.”

These sea birds need to forage and stick to a natural diet; handouts of bread, fast food, and so forth can make them sick and lead to overcrowding in places that humans frequent, like Tybee Beach. Don’t reinforce bad seagull behavior by feeding them; instead, carefully wrap your food and dispose of your trash. And don’t fall for it when those gulls come begging: There are plenty of fish in the sea for them to snack on.

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