Gulls, more than just chip birds
Despite the negative preconceptions that many people have, gulls are intelligent, innovative and opportunistic creatures that do more than just steal chips. In fact, what we interpret as ‘stealing’ is actually a natural behaviour, called ‘kleptoparasitism’, which is… well, stealing. But this stealing is part of an important overall foraging strategy that evolved long before chip shops. In this session, we’ll delve into gull psychology. We’ll learn a bit about gull calls and body language, and use this information to predict what they are about to do and why. We will also introduce, and hopefully recruit you as participants in, a Citizen Science experiment on gull mobbing behaviour! This experiment will be carried out on the Sidmouth seafront on 14th Oct. Please check back after the 5th Oct for details and sign up. Overall, our goal is to help you see Sidmouth from a gull’s point-of-view and get some tips to protect your chips.
Dr Katherine Herborn and Dr Alex Wilson are behavioural ecologists and lecturers at the University of Plymouth. They work on how animals cope with stress and disturbance in their natural habitats.
The event is free but to attend you will need to register via Eventbrite using your name and email by clicking the ‘Book now’ button above. Access link to Zoom will be provided once you have completed the registration.