Rubber Duck Public Service Announcement: Do Not Feed The Seagulls!

rdbirdIf you want to do something really cool, like feed birds out of your hand just go to the Mass Audubon Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary and bring sunflower seeds. The volunteers there will tell you where to hold out your hand and sure enough chickadees and even a nuthatch will come down, sit on your finger, and grab a seed.

But please do not feed the Cape Ann Seagulls. It’s not the poop and the squawking. The problem is that Cape Ann seagulls are just as smart as chickadees if not a little smarter. It might only take a few days for a couple of seagulls to figure out that when a fisherman is on the point they might throw their bait in the water when they are done. Or they clean their fish on the rocks and leave the guts and rack right there and the seagulls clean it up. But the next day or the next these seagulls are bolder and they think all fishermen on the point are there to feed them. So they chase the popper of the next fisherman on the point.

Yeah, I just spent the morning with two trained seagulls chasing my popper. It sucks. Next time you throw your bait to the cute seagulls or feed them anything remember that cute seagull with a hook stuck in its beak dying a slow and agonizing death. Or a fisherman yanking her popper out of the water and smacking herself in the head with treble hooks.

And take your Dunkin Donuts coffee cup with you. Thanks.

[edit] I am getting quite a bit of back channel chatter about my usage of “seagull” as the name of the flying sea rats we have around here. Birders prefer just “gull” or maybe you have to name the species. We have herring gulls, black back gulls, laughing gulls, common, lesser and one we call Homie.

In Wikipedia they say: Seagull or Sea Gull is a common, informal, name for Gulls, sea birds in the family Laridae. Since Rubber Duck and I like to be on an informal basis when dealing with Homie and his pals I will continue to use “seagull”.

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