Kenwood Pools

More Seagull Stories

February 23, 2017 1:25 am0 commentsViews: 13
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Upon reading my essay in a recent Leader about a seagull that snatched my box of lunch leftovers as I left a Jersey Shore restaurant, numerous readers continue to amaze me with their own personal experiences with these hungry shore birds and your food.  (And here I thought my story was unique!)

While attending criminal court hearings in Falls recently, during a break I gave two defense attorneys copies of the paper and as soon as they knew what I had written, each of them described their own gull thievery experience. One told us about the time he was cooking a steak outdoors on a small grill while at their shore house and had to check some items cooking inside. Much to his surprise when he came back out, his steak was being dragged across the yard in the beak of one of these gulls.  Luckily he was able to rescue his steak and still manage to have it for dinner.  Kiddingly he told us that he had both his steak and the shore bird for his meal!  The other attorney told us about gull thievery when his family often walked along the boardwalk at Ocean City eating containers of delicious French fries. There’s something about fries that attracts these birds…

One Leader Reader wrote to say, “The seagulls in Ocean City actually work in pairs! When someone (usually a little kid) has just gotten a big tub of French fries, one seagull will swoop down to eye level and flap up a storm right in front of the kid. The startled kid will usually turn his body away to protect his fries, but a second gull has sneaked up behind him and swoops in for a mouthful. Very often the kid will drop the bucket and then a horde of gulls swoops down to scavenge.”

There apparently are no shy seagulls in other places of the U.S.  A friend told me that once when she and her husband were staying at Sanibel Island in Florida, she ordered a nice hotdog from a “snack boat” that came daily for the beachgoers sitting on the beach.  My friend was about to take a bite out of a delicious-looking hot dog in a roll, having put just the right amount of mustard on it, when out of nowhere one of these hungry birds swooped down and stole her hot dog right out of the roll and disappeared.

One day another Leader Reader was fishing somewhere along the Jersey Shore and a more experienced angler warned him about setting down his fishing rig (commonly known as the rod, reel, baited hook, and sinker) on the ground nearby, in case a gull might suddenly swoop down and go after the bait (most likely a generous piece of delicious squid).

Yes, you guessed right.  He didn’t heed the advice and soon saw a gull making off with his rod…hook, line, and sinker! He was just barely able to grab it and began a tug of war to take the fishing rod away from the flying thief.  Luckily he was able to do so, and as he gathered in his gear, he felt something wet and slimy land upon his head with a loud splat!  The disappointed gull had apparently left a “present” behind.  Another fisherman who had seen what happened, told him, “that will bring you good luck.”  Sure hope it’s true!


Not all of the tales are about these creatures’ clever food-stealing expertise, however. This last experience involved another type of gull annoyance:


A security guard at Lower Bucks Hospital accompanied his family down to the shore for the day, even though he really didn’t feel like it. Besides, he really doesn’t enjoy the beach much. He felt in a lousy mood as they settled on the sand with their beach gear. As soon as he plopped down into his beach chair, it gave way, breaking into several pieces.  He then decided to move nearby to just be alone for a while, so he spread out his beach towel and lay down on it (on his stomach, of course).  It wasn’t long until he heard —and felt —a large splat upon his back.  The man looked up to see a gull flying away.  Even though he was so very startled and angry over such an ornery creature leaving a “present” on his skin, he suddenly saw the humor of it and howled with laughter.  After that, he was in a much better frame of mind to enjoy the rest of the day at the beach with his family.


Imagine, all this fun with seagulls and it isn’t even summer yet! ■

—Marilyn Lummis


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