Why You Should Never Feed Seagulls
A lot of people, especially tourists because they’re not from the area and don’t know better, will feed seagulls. These gulls are often fed bread or other food scraps by well-meaning humans who want to make them feel loved. But this is a bad idea for many reasons.
In this article, we’ll discuss why it’s a terrible idea to feed seagulls, plus some of the repercussions of doing so.
8 reasons why you shouldn’t feed seagulls
1. They’ll get used to it and expect it
If you start feeding seagulls, they will begin to associate you with food. They will follow you around, begging for more handouts. This can be extremely annoying and even dangerous, as they may become aggressive in their begging.
Seagulls have been known to attack humans when they don’t get the food they want, resulting in bites or other injuries.
2. It’s bad for their health
The food humans eat is bad for us, so of course, it’s also bad for birds. Feeding them scraps of our food will likely make them sick.
And even food that’s safe for human consumption can still be harmful to birds. For example, bread is high in carbohydrates and low in nutrients, so it’s not a healthy choice for them.
3. It may attract other wildlife
If you’re feeding seagulls, you may also attract other animals, like rats and mice. These animals carry diseases that may be harmful to humans and other animals. They’re also generally considered to be pests.
4. It’s illegal in some places
In some areas, it’s actually against the law to feed seagulls. In Devon in the UK, for example, the East Devon District Council made is illegal to feed seagulls, in 2017. This is because of all the reasons we’ve discussed so far. If you’re caught feeding them, you may be fined.
5. It encourages them to beg from others
When you feed seagulls, you’re teaching them that it’s okay to beg for food. They’ll continue to beg from others, even if they’re not getting food from you anymore.
This can be problematic because, as we’ve mentioned, they may become aggressive in their begging. It’s also just annoying for people who either don’t want to feed them or have no food to spare.
6. It makes them lazy
If seagulls are being fed instead of hunting for their food, they may not be getting the exercise they need. This could lead to them becoming obese and less able to fly, which could then affect their ability to mate and reproduce.
In an article from The Independent, it found that seagulls in Britain have been labeled too fat to fly, as they’re constantly eating our junk food. When we feed them, we give them a taste for our food, which prompts them to forage for it in bins, as opposed to eating food that’s natural for them.
7. You’ll encourage them to steal from people
If you start to feed seagulls, sooner or later, they’ll feel entitled to it and start stealing from people if they don’t get what they want.
They’ve been known to steal food right out of people’s hands, and even off their plates!
8. If you feed one, you’ll have to feed them all
Seagulls are social creatures, so if you start feeding one, the rest of their flock will likely want in on the action. This means you’ll have to keep feeding them more and more food, which is obviously not practical.
Unlike ducks, who will waddle over to you for food, seagulls are not tame animals. They should be avoided, not fed. You should also keep any picnic food or trash securely covered, so they don’t have access to it.
If you do see someone feeding seagulls, kindly let them know of the potential dangers and consequences. It’s in everyone’s best interest if we keep these birds away from human food.