Gourmand gulls Channel hop for chips
BRITONS are used to seagulls stealing their chips at the seaside – but it seems that’s not enough for the greedy birds who are now Channel-hopping to get their beaks on some frites.
This is the view of one BBC expert who believes gulls are no longer satisfied with the volume ume of food waste te in Britain so are commuting ting abroad instead. ead.
“Birds Birds are moving further her afield to seek the food d waste they are no longing finding so readily available in the landfill sites in the UK,” ” Tim Dee, a wildlife expert, ert, told BBC Radio 4.
“French French food waste recycling ing is not so sophisticated ed so birds are leaving Britain to eat French chips.”
Speaking to The Sunday Telegraph, Mr Dee said: “Food for the birds in the UK is now meagre. Populations boomed during the throwaway decades of the Sixties and Seventies but along the coast, fish processing has all but finished and ended a source of gull food. Recycling or incineration of food waste is now commonplace, and edible trash in landfills in the UK is rare.” This was not the case in France, he said, where edible food waste remained a treat for gulls.
Yet despite trips for the odd frite, Mr Dee said he did not expect Britain to see a mass exodus of seagulls. On the contrary, he said populations of “urban gulls” we were on the rise.
There are now an esties mated 100,000 pairs of breeding urban gulls in UK U towns and cities. But th the unpopular birds are a usually in the th press for f all the th wrong reasons – fro from killing a chihuahua chihuahu in 2015 to attac attacking people in the th street.
Mr Dee De appealed for the public publ to be kinder to the bird birds, describing them as “en “endlessly fascinating”. He said: “Gulls have adapted to spend all their time in Britain now. They used to migrate in the winter but that is no longer the case. They’ve come ashore and have found a way to make a living like us. They are not popular because they are noisy and strong and basically doing all the things we think are reserved for us, eating chips in cities and getting on with one another the best they can.”