Are you prepared for a summer beach day? How about dealing with the birds? Everyone knows that pesky birds are bothersome at the beach, but nobody remembers it until they are bothered as soon as they arrive. Nothing is a problem until you have to endure it.
Gulls, pelicans, terns, and sandpipers can be a significant problem on beaches and boardwalks, where they often congregate to scavenge for food. In addition to being noisy pests that can disrupt beachgoers' activities, they each also threaten the safety of those around them. These birds swoop down and attack people, especially if they think someone is trying to steal their food.
Why are gulls pest birds?
Gulls can live up to thirty years, and with constant feeding, they become accustomed to specific areas where they know there is access to food. Seagulls are notorious for their boldness when it comes to stealing food. Everyone who has been to the beach has had to deal with this, and they are prevalent at any beach up and down the coastline. In some areas, they can become so accustomed to human presence that they will follow people hoping to get a handout. All these species are opportunistic foragers and are known to eat a variety of insects, plants, insects, and fish. If these sources are absent, they often rely on human leftover food scraps. If these are unavailable to them, their pesky daring sense starts as they actively look for anything they can find or "steal."
In addition to being daring scavengers, these are highly social animals who live and work together to forage for food. They use coordination, communication, and teamwork to locate food and water sources while banding together to deter potential predators. Often you will see them swoop in out of nowhere and snatch any uncovered food from beachgoers.
Pest gull prevention - keeping seagulls away
So, how should you prevent this? The most common way is the mindset and action of keeping everything out of sight. That is widely considered the primary and effective tactic. This could be sealed containers, Tupperware, or Ziploc bags. But what about going the extra mile to ensure a great day at the beach? Some other ways include:
Don't be too flashy
Try to limit metallic objects. These birds operate off of sight and are attracted to things that flash their eyes. Metallic objects will shine in the sunlight and act as a beacon for these birds. These objects could be necklaces, rings, watches, or anything metal.
Bright color is your friend
Bring bright towels and coolers. Bright colors act as a warning to the birds to keep them deterred from possible dangers. Colors such as red, yellow, and orange can be effective. Nothing needs to be flashing, just vibrant.
Fly your flag
Fly a flag or sign. Anything flying around will deter the birds from wanting to approach you and investigating to see what they could take. Something flying around by you can prevent birds from landing near you as they will deem it unsafe to land. This could be as easy as sitting close to the wave-colored flags (this could have the benefit of color and a flying object).
Birds want safety
Stay moving; constant moving will prevent the bird from finding a safe landing location. Whether throwing a football or playing spike ball, moving around will make the birds deem it unsafe to land. Studies have also shown gulls are not good at playing sports and will try to stay away to avoid the shame of losing.
Due to constant human behavior, these pest birds will never go away, but with some of these deterrent methods and measures, you can be prepared for a great beach day with the family. The less you have to worry about extracurricular pest activity, the more enjoyment that can be had.