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Learn the 'rules' for feeding seagulls

Feeding seagulls on the beach can be fun, but be careful where and how you do it.

Everyone enjoys the birds at the beach, and many enjoy feeding the good ol' gulls of South Texas as they can put on quite a show. These scavengers will grab just about anything they can get their beaks around, so what you throw into the air for their next snack should be a healthy one!

Organic chips, low-salt nuts and cooked, un-spiced spaghetti are good food options for seagulls. Try to stay away from empty carbs like white bread and sugary cereals. Regular Cheerios also are a good source of vitamins for the birds, as are unshelled and unsalted sunflower seeds.

Even though it's fun to feed our flying friends, it should be done sparingly. Once you start feeding a couple of seagulls, they will call over all their friends and family and beg you for all the food you’ve got. Not to mention, the more you feed them, the more likely it is one of them will drop a “present” or two on you.

Think about where you are feeding the gulls before you start. Feeding them around hotels, condos or campsites is discouraged as they can quickly become annoying and dirty pests.

Seagulls are more than capable of finding their own food sources, but if you just can’t say no to a begging bird, be sure the snack you toss is as nutritious as it is delicious!

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There are 10 comments.

Alison —
I feed the gulls every morning on the extended parking lot 4 blocks off the resort boardwalk at a McDonalds. These birds are very intelligent. Have manners too, better than some people I know. They take food from my fingers and very gently. They recognize my car, my father and me. They literally see us coming and know where we park. When I tell them, no more for today, they know by the sound of my voice and command. If different species come, they defer and let them have a turn. Absolutely amazing. One day last week, a police officer pulled up next to me and asked me to stop feeding them because the city just paid a trainer with birds of prey to get rid of them off the boardwalk several years ago. Our home is right on the ocean, and I feed them onmy property, provide bird feeders and water fountains. Thy are more than grateful. Now, for my point. I grew up in this town back in the 60's, our home is on the corner, across from the Ocean and I was really happy to see the summer end this year. The renters, as well as other home owners walk their 1, 2 or 3 dogs at a time and permit their animals to urinate and deficate in my lawn on a daily basis. Most people do bring bags, but letting them urinate on my gorgeous flowers, lawn and bdhes ruins that area. These eople are far worse than any bird I feed. The attitude is, "I am on vacation, get out of my face." When I stopped one lady, she said," I've been doing this for years all the winters you were not living here." Keeping the gulls off the boardwalk that is paid by my taxes, the dogs should be band from beaches and fined. A BIRD LOVER FOREVER
I concur with Davey P.
Goody —
What terrible advice to feed seagulls fried food like chips, cereal, and spaghetti. Certainly there is some healthy fresh foods that can be fed which is close to their species appropriate diet.
Elaine —
There was a couple of gulls nesting on the roof I fed them every day at first they were timid but a few weeks later now go to the top of the steps when I call them and wait for me they take food out of my hand and do not call for other gulls if any do land they chase them off the 2 chicks have also started recognising me and come towards me but not close enough to be hand fed I can sit in my garden with a food and they just watch no calling no flying down even when two of my grandchildren and one of my daughters were here we sat outside with a takeaway consisting of pizza chips a kebab and a burger we were left alone even though the birds could see when my grandson got up and was walking around dropping some of his food they stayed on the roof I have done this for several years now and never have problems with them
Davey P —
So basically it's a judgement call I'm gathering, like most things in life. I like feeding seagulls appropriate things, I'm respectful of distance from others, so I'm going to continue to do it. When people stop bringing dogs on to the beach/park/etc. off a leash. Or simply picking up after their pets and bringing non certified animals into stores/restaurants/etc.. I'll stop feeding seagulls. Not to mention the countless "socially unacceptable" to you, things people do, including things I'm sure I could find you do to trigger a snowflake. Never heard of a crime starting with...."So this guy was feeding seagulls" but I'm sure there is, because of sad miserable people that should be using their passion for negatively toward something meaningful. With that said, if you are in the .0000001% of the population that has someone who is purposely feeding seagulls to poop on you or your property, please call the proper authorities. If they won't listen call me, I'll have a talk with thesr birds, after I feed them of course, and straightenjoy things out. Thanks for your time, Batman
Mel —
If there was enough food for them, they wouldn't be so mad for the food they are given
Vicky moore —
Complete crap! You should never feed seagulls!! How ignorant are you!!! They get aggressive, they attack and then cuz you gave them a reason to stick around they will then go looking for other food such as nesting bird eggs and babies, same with baby turtles!!! Stop feeding the birds!!!
Jo —
That is absolute rubbish, I feed a family of gulls on my garage roof and I tried throwing food up to them but the other gulls spotted it and rushed in to grab it and scared the Chicks so I started putting it in a dish and putting it out of the window so the other gulls wouldn’t see and there has not been one strange gull near the food, they don’t call them at all. Also some fishermen will befriend 1 gull and while the gull is being fed he will not poop on the fishermen’s boat and will stop other gull’s doing so and the same goes for a house. This is all hysterical clap trap!
Hi. —
I believe you. Despite the horror stories, many of the seagulls present good manners and bring us joy. A bit of food tossed for them to catch for our amusement and theirs leaves less of an environmental footprint and hazard than many of the more selfish and extravagant whims of many people.
Lynn —
Please, leave them alone to find their natural food. Consider picking up some of the trash from the beach instead

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