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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 Comment(s)

  1. 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.

    Paul Lundgren | Sep 4, 2011 | New Comment
  2. Thank you.

    zra | Sep 4, 2011 | New Comment
  3. It might not be illegal, but it’s definitely morally bankrupt.

    jessige | Sep 4, 2011 | New Comment
  4. 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 | Sep 4, 2011 | New Comment
  5. Rat poison.

    Lojasmo | Sep 4, 2011 | New Comment
  6. 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.”

    bluenewt | Sep 4, 2011 | New Comment
  7. Reminds me of Hitchcock’s The Birds.

    Claire | Sep 4, 2011 | New Comment
  8. I’m not sure if it’s illegal to feed them, but it’s illegal to kill them.

    Lolo | Sep 4, 2011 | New Comment
  9. These are NOT domestic animals and shouldn’t be fed.

    TimK | Sep 4, 2011 | New Comment
  10. 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.

    Paul Lundgren | Sep 4, 2011 | New Comment
  11. 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.

    TimK | Sep 4, 2011 | New Comment
  12. 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).

    edgeways | Sep 4, 2011 | New Comment
  13. 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.)

    Les F | Sep 5, 2011 | New Comment
  14. They’re not more vile than humans.

    jimmy | Sep 5, 2011 | New Comment
  15. Foghorns and seagulls, two sounds I like living in this port town.

    Bret | Sep 5, 2011 | New Comment
  16. 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.

    Les F | Sep 5, 2011 | New Comment
  17. D. Napalm Gull Island.

    Admackbar | Sep 5, 2011 | New Comment
  18. 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.

    Sjixxxy | Sep 5, 2011 | New Comment
  19. 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!

    Heysme | Sep 5, 2011 | New Comment
  20. 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 | Sep 5, 2011 | New Comment
  21. By the way, that seagull’s photo definitely belongs on America’s Most Wanted.

    emmadogs | Sep 5, 2011 | New Comment
  22. 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.

    Barrett Chase | Sep 5, 2011 | New Comment
  23. 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.

    J.S. | Sep 5, 2011 | New Comment
  24. 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.

    TimK | Sep 5, 2011 | New Comment
  25. 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.

    Beverly | Sep 5, 2011 | New Comment
  26. An acquaintance of mine once killed a seagull in front of Mayor Doty’s family. That was an interesting day.

    Ramos | Sep 5, 2011 | New Comment
  27. To paraphrase a sign about pigeons:

    “Do not feed the seagulls. They are a health hazard and a nuisance.”

    GoldenLady | Sep 6, 2011 | New Comment
  28. that skyrat pick -- it should have it’s wings crossed over his chest.

    c-freak | Sep 6, 2011 | New Comment
  29. The answer is neither. There are no a-gulls, b-gulls, or sea-gulls. This bird it a ring-billed gull. Ha!

    Greg Benson | Sep 6, 2011 | New Comment
  30. Nobody likes a smartass, Greg. Oh, wait…

    zra | Sep 6, 2011 | New Comment
  31. Well, I’d say it looks more like a Herring Gull, since it’s minus the ring on the bill.

    cohobo | Sep 6, 2011 | New Comment

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