The California Gull, along with its close cousin the Western Gull, is the most common shorebird along the California coast. Seagulls are opportunistic feeders, they will eat just about anything. In the wild, they prefer small fish, crabs, and marine worms. However, around human development they are most likely to be found near garbage dumps, trash cans, restaurants, and areas where humans eat in public. Just about anything humans eat, seagulls will eat as well.
As an adult, a seagull will consume 20 percent of its body weight every day. Seagull droppings can become a major nuisance and health hazard. In addition, they will swallow large chunks of food, digest the nutrients, and then regurgitate the rest, making a further mess.
Another problem with seagulls is their aggressive behavior. They eat the eggs and chicks of other seabirds and are expert thieves, preying on the food of unsuspecting beachgoers and picnickers. Seagulls have been known to swarm and even attack humans when protecting their nests.
Unlike other pest birds, seagulls are protected by the Federal Migratory Bird Act. However, there are several humane and legal ways to keep them away from structures and humans.
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