|My current "tame" Herring Gull - waiting for a snack, standing on the fence right outside the back door.|
That's some meat clever stuck on the front of his head!
GIRL’S GULL TERROR - Sea bird attacks young girl
A SEAGULL attacked a four-year-old girl as she ate a sandwich.
Only in the Daily Star? Not a bit of it, although this is one of their headlines from June 2016 - all the daily "scandal rags" are having a go. Sensationalist, gutter, journalism has already raised the fear factor amongst the nation, with outrageous forecasts of the "Brexit" vote consequences - and now this subject is being given the same treatment.
It has been five years since we last saw Jonathan (Livingstone) at our back door - he'd been part of our daily lives for several years. Each morning would see him standing at the kitchen door, pecking at the glass in order to grab our attention. "Where's my grub?" being the sentiment. He was a magnificent specimen and a great source of amusement and interest whenever family and friends visited our bungalow. Sadly he went missing in August 2011 and has not been seen since, so my new mate has been very welcome, although he hasn't, as yet, become as much a fixture. He will feed from my hand, but very cautiously.
There are four pairs of Herring Gulls nesting on the roof-tops along Vine Close, all of them successful this year. There are three youngsters on our neighbours roof and that's where my bird comes from. I find them fascinating, others on Thanet disagree. They are undoubtedly big and powerful birds, but they ain't capable of planning raiding parties or mass assaults - they just adapt to situations to ensure the best feeding return for their efforts. As parents they are to be admired, taking the defence of their young to a very aggressive level. I have been pecked on the head as I've attempted to get a chick back up onto a bungalow roof (I'm the one that the neighbours come to when they have a youngster wandering about in their gardens) - it drew blood, those beaks were not evolved to eat grapes!
So I am well aware of the scenario of Herring Gulls adapting to cadging chips from seaside visitors who, being unfamiliar with the species, might misconstrue this behaviour as an attack. The only time gulls will deliberately attack a person, or their pooch, is if they feel their youngsters are being threatened - every other time it is about easy option feeding. If you visit the seaside, expect seagulls, the give away clue is in the name and don't forget they were there first!