French Fry Freeloading Fliers Prefer The Human Touch
It's a "must do" when us inland rubes head over the mountains to Seattle. A stop at Ivar's for fish and fries. And with that comes the "attack of the seagulls"! The big grey and white squawking birds seeking a handout or a chance to steal a french fry. It's annoying good fun.
But is there a method to the madness as to which foods the feathered freeloaders prefer? Perhaps there is.
A study recently published by the University of Exeter in England and reported on by Delish sheds some light on what the seagulls see as their best option.
In an experiment researchers put out the same food in two different ways-- the first was a granola bar touched by a human for about 20 seconds before it was placed down, and the second was never touched.
They found 79 percent of the seagulls approached the granola bar that had been handled by humans...79%! Why? What difference does the human touch make from a creature that often takes its taste buds (do birds have taste buds?) to dining excursions to the city dump.
Researchers think "cues from humans may play an important part in the way gulls find food."
The Seattle waterfront seagulls must think if we are gullible enough to buy the fry, it must be worthy of begging for or stealing it!