Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds made real? Herring gulls are watching us... – Scotsman comment

Gulls did not evolve to like chips, they learned that from humans

Much like in Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds, it appears we are being watched by intelligent avians with criminal intent. However, fortunately for us, they mean us no harm – they just want to steal our chips.

The birds in question (herring gulls, rather than Hitchcock’s crows) are also partial to ice cream, sandwiches and almost anything we like to eat. For, according to a new study, in some parts of the country, they have cleverly worked out that most of our food is good for them too.

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While many animals learn from each other, it takes a special creature to school themselves in other species’ ways. As researcher Paul Graham pointed out, ”gulls didn’t evolve to like chips”.

Many view seagulls as pests, which they can be. However, herring gulls are on the red list of birds “of conservation concern”, so they’re basically struggling for survival. Furthermore, they have been known to attempt to peacefully negotiate a gulp of ice cream by gazing hopefully at the cone and chasing off would-be robbers. So perhaps we shouldn’t be too scared or too hard on them.

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