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Time to settle this once and for all

The bird in this photo is …

This poll is now closed. The results were:

A skyrat, one of the Devil’s flying rodents, which should be fed rocks from a slingshot. — 70.4 percent

A seagull, one of God’s lovely creatures, which should be fed popcorn gently tossed in its vicinity. — 29.6 percent

The bird in this photo is ...

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31 Comments

Paul Lundgren

about 3 years ago

Sorry, I couldn't resist. By the way, someone told me once, maybe 20 years ago, that it is illegal to feed seagulls. I doubt that is true, but I like to repeat it all the time.

zra

about 3 years ago

Thank you.

jessige

about 3 years ago

It might not be illegal, but it's definitely morally bankrupt.

bluenewt

about 3 years ago

Some time ago someone posted on this blog that it's illegal to feed gulls in Duluth. I searched the city code and couldn't find a gull feeding prohibition. That could be because my search skills suck and not because there is no gull feeding ban, but I'm skeptical.

bluenewt

about 3 years ago

A few years ago, a guy I went to school with put on a suit on which his girlfriend had sewn hundreds of pieces of popcorn, and he lay down in Canal Park. It was an art project. It made international news -- and the Budgeteer. I remember his saying something like, "It was really intense when they were eating my tie."

Claire

about 3 years ago

Reminds me of Hitchcock's The Birds.

Lolo

about 3 years ago

I'm not sure if it's illegal to feed them, but it's illegal to kill them.

TimK

about 3 years ago

These are NOT domestic animals and shouldn't be fed.

Paul Lundgren

about 3 years ago

By the way, I purposely set this poll up like a typical American election, where you have to choose the lesser of two evils. I hope most of you would vote for the missing option C -- don't feed them or kill them. On the other hand, it's strange that there is a duck hunting season and not a seagull hunting season. I mean, I know ducks are delicious and seagulls are disgusting, but I think people appreciate ducks more in general -- not just as food. I guess the main reason, though, is that ducks hang out in beautiful natural areas and seagulls hang out around garbage cans at McDonald's. You can't really suit up in orange and fire guns in the McDonald's parking lot without some problems.

TimK

about 3 years ago

I think a case could be made that feeding seagulls (or terns) might be a violation of the Migratory Bird Act in that feeding them could be construed as "baiting." My amateur comprehension of the rules on baiting does not make an exception as to motive, i.e., feeding them in order to "take" them. Otherwise, never leave a tern unstoned.

edgeways

about 3 years ago

rat poison only if we can also feed it to people (oh I kid, kind of), seriously there is a middle ground between gently tossing popcorn to these birds and assaulting them for adapting so well to human intervention (the option C as Paul mentions).

Les F

about 3 years ago

Maybe all the fast food places could feed them burgers and fries till their arteries clog. Or perhaps one could feed them Alka-Seltzer tabs. (Yeah, I know it's urban legend and the video was a fake.)

jimmy

about 3 years ago

They're not more vile than humans.

Bret

about 3 years ago

Foghorns and seagulls, two sounds I like living in this port town.

Les F

about 3 years ago

O.K. you have a good point, I do like the sound they make, just not the mess. And before any one says it, I guess the same could be said about humans.

Admackbar

about 3 years ago

D. Napalm Gull Island.

Sjixxxy

about 3 years ago

I can't stand the seagull noise, it always sounds like they're bickering at each other. Give me a murder of crows screaming over gulls any day.

Heysme

about 3 years ago

During the early days of LSC, the theater director proposed the mascot be the Skyrats. It would have been a done deal but a student vote was needed and Huskies prevailed!

emmadogs

about 3 years ago

I have been entranced by seagulls' cawings ever since moving here. They really evoke Duluth for me. My first year here, I saw a very upsetting sight: someone had spray painted a seagull flamingo-pink. Maybe that's a vote for not feeding seagulls--they shouldn't be so comfortable with humans that a real rat bastard could paint one pink.

emmadogs

about 3 years ago

By the way, that seagull's photo definitely belongs on America's Most Wanted.

Barrett Chase

about 3 years ago

I think the idea that feeding seagulls is illegal comes from the "Do Not Feed the Seagulls" signs around Canal Park and other places. I'm not sure if it was actually an ordinance. It's likely that some signs were put there by business owners, and/or are more of a polite request than a posted law. Gulls feed on the eggs and young of songbirds. I've heard that the gull population grew something like tenfold after the tourism industry took off in Duluth. I don't know whether that's true or not, or how close to accurate it might be, but that's what people say.

J.S.

about 3 years ago

My dad was the captain of a Laker, and when the deckhands got bored, they soaked bread in Tabasco sauce and threw it to the gulls. At the time I thought it was hysterically funny to watch them dive straight down for a rinse...now, with the wisdom that comes with age, I'm a little more compassionate. It is, after all, a beating heart.

TimK

about 3 years ago

The canal park gull population ebbs and flows with the availability of easy food. The old Burger King attracted its share. Closing the Rice Lake landfill moved that particular population of skyrats, too.

Beverly

about 3 years ago

I missed the chance to ingratiate myself with a big-time college professor in Chicago because of gulls. He found out I grew up in Grand Marais. He said, "My family used to go on vacation there and feed the seagulls." I said, "We used to make fun of tourists who fed the seagulls." Even though it was a stupid thing to say and didn't win me any points, I somehow still enjoy thinking about that.

Ramos

about 3 years ago

An acquaintance of mine once killed a seagull in front of Mayor Doty's family. That was an interesting day.

GoldenLady

about 3 years ago

To paraphrase a sign about pigeons: "Do not feed the seagulls. They are a health hazard and a nuisance."

c-freak

about 3 years ago

that skyrat pick - it should have it's wings crossed over his chest.

Greg Benson

about 3 years ago

The answer is neither. There are no a-gulls, b-gulls, or sea-gulls. This bird it a ring-billed gull. Ha!

zra

about 3 years ago

Nobody likes a smartass, Greg. Oh, wait...

cohobo

about 3 years ago

Well, I'd say it looks more like a Herring Gull, since it's minus the ring on the bill.

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