How To Feed Gulls

Gulls are natural scavengers, feeding on bits of leftovers on our beaches, dumpsites, and other places where humans leave food. They are generally found around areas of water, since their primary source of food is fish.

Gulls are very inquisitive and acrobatic birds, sometimes choosing to chase boats in search of a leftover breadcrumb. Gulls are very opportunistic creatures, choosing to spend their lifetimes alongside man, hoping for a handout but willing to settle for garbage. Gulls are not picky eaters and will scavenge just about anything from restaurant waste to dead fish, worms and other creatures who happen by at the wrong time.

Gulls can be quite entertaining, catching tossed up food bits in mid air and performing amazing acrobatic feats to capture the smallest bit of food. They are notorious around lakes, rivers, and beaches for being aggressive panhandlers, being known to even land in boats in search of food.

Gulls prefer seafood, as this is their natural food source. If you choose to hand feed a gull, you should try to make your offering as close to their natural food as possible to keep from harming the birds. After you have caught the attention of one or two gulls, they will hover over you expectantly. Try throwing your arm into the air a few times without releasing the food.  If you are met with a few dive attempts and some indignant vocalization, you have their attention. Gently toss a piece of food into the air in front of the gulls and watch them dive and catch it. As the excitement grows, more gulls will come over, much like ducks, to get in on the action. Pretty soon, you will have a multitude of tiny acrobats twisting, turning and diving to get their share of the booty. Do not offer gulls processed foods like sweets or fatty foods.  Stick with fish and grains, like small amounts of bread or plain popcorn.

While it is not a good idea to feed wildlife as the components of most human food can be harmful to most animals, since these birds are natural scavengers, they seem to be better equipped for dealing with a variety of food compositions. Take care not to overfeed the birds so that they will still be inclined to hunt for natural foods which will ensure their overall health and longevity. This will ensure that you have birds to feed well into the future.


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