Gulls: shiftless panhandlers?

In response to my previous post, Rob (who volunteers with the gull banding project) had this to say, “I am most impressed by your efforts to convince your readers that gulls are something more than shiftless panhandlers with very unsavory personal habits……I bought it.  Millions wouldn’t, but I bought it….”

I was in the process of sending Rob an indignant reply, when I received the following report of another juvenile banded gull taking handouts at a town beach in Provincetown, MA.

Opportunistic juvenile GBBG. Photo by author Philip Hoare

Dennis Minsky, SEANET volunteer extraordinaire, reported the observation this past Tuesday (Feb 9) on behalf of his friend Philip Hoare.  Philip took the photo while visiting the flats in the east end of Provincetown, MA.  Apparently, a resident puts out food nearby and attracts many gulls and pigeons, including 1F4 seen here.

Philip recently published the book The Whale: In Search of the Giants of the Sea.  Dennis was Hoare’s guide to the whales around Cape Cod and was mentioned by Hoare during a recent interview with Tom Ashbrook (NPR show, “On Point”).   You can read more about Philip’s encounters with whales off Provincetown in the Guardian (  Note that in this article, Philip describes a group of feeding whales surrounded by “flurries of opportunistic gulls.”  They almost  sound like delicate snowflakes, don’t they?

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