According to recent studies by scientists who posted in "Biology Letters" by Royal Society Publishing, there is a new way to keep seagulls at bay (no pun intended) and away from your food! Experiments involving a large number of seagulls were conducted in coastal Cornwall, England where the gulls are heavily populated around human presence. The scientists conducted various experiments with gulls using techniques where in some cases they put food down and stared directly at the seagull for extended periods of time and in the other cases they made less eye contact and looked away from the seagulls while in their presence. According to the overall results of the experiments the report says: "Gulls took significantly longer to approach the food source when the experimenter looked at them versus away." Additionally, when the researchers looked away from the food all of the seagulls went after the food and touched it.
Bottom line, you want seagulls to stay away from your food, engage in a staring contest with them! I can't help but think of one of my favorite TV commercials featuring seagulls...I have to share!
Needless to say, when I go to the beach this weekend and want to pull out my snacks I'll be conducting some stare downs with the gulls around me! It can't hurt right? To read more about this study directly, you can see the results directly posted in "Biology Letters", HERE.