REASONS NOT TO FEED ALISO BEACH SEAGULLS
As far back as I remember, people have fed seagulls at Aliso Beach. People feed birds everywhere for that matter. I half feel sorry for people because I honestly believe that lonely people enjoy the attention of a mob of hungry birds. The question is if feeding seagulls crusty old bread is a wise thing to do at Aliso Beach. There are plenty of reasons not to feed Aliso Beach Seagulls.
1) Aliso Beach Seagulls are a product of years of DNA Programming that never made out of date bread an appropriate source of nutrition. Keep your Wonder Bread and stale loafs of whatever at home and do not feed these things. They are considered opportunistic feeders and they will walk right up to your beach blanket and snatch anything they can while you are looking the other way. They have no shame. Chips, cookies, sandwiches, fries and any of those types of foods and snacks are interesting to seagulls. They simply do not know better. As we find out that we have been poisoned by large corporations with huge ad budgets that tell us we want and need these crappy foods, the health of people has been made secondary to convenience. If we know that these things are making us sick, why feed them to seagulls. It’s not okay. For those of you feeding the seagulls bread, it isn’t good for them. There are countless people online that think this is okay. Bread expands in the stomach and it can mess with the digestive system of your favorite beach birds.
2) When one Aliso Beach Seagull sees that there is an opportunity for food, you will have the whole pack there in less than 2 minutes. They know to watch for their pals all converging on a spot and see that as a free meal. Seagulls are great, but when you feed them, you are increasing the probability of getting pooped on. The minute you start flinging bread all over the beach, you have gulls all over the air above everyone and their bowels work without hesitation when nature calls. What that means for people visiting the beach like you and I is that, when other people are feeding the birds at Aliso Beach,we have a bulls eye on us. If you have been to the beach a lot, chances are you have been pooped on. The possibilities of becoming a seagull poop victim when people are feeding the birds goes way up. Nobody likes to get pooped on…it’s disgusting. If you are feeding the seagulls at Aliso Beach you are responsible for these excited birds pooping on beach goers below them.
3) Aliso Beach Seagulls create messes all over. The nice benches that are there on the north end of the beach and facing Catalina Island are often caked in seagull poop. They aren’t good for sitting on when they are spackled with it. I noticed that they changed the wood benches for a nice Rubbermaid-like park bench that is quite nice. They must have done this because the new benches are easier to hose down after a seagull bombing from above. More seagulls in the area expecting free meals means more seagull poop everywhere. Keep in mind that this seagull poop has to go somewhere. It is washed down into the storm drains by beach maintenance workers and rain events. Seagull crap, like all poop, contains fecal coliform. This is one of the things that is tested for in the creek and ocean water down at Aliso Beach. Part of that problem is Aliso Creek dams up on the north end of the beach and lets out during measurable precipitation or when surf photographers and wave riders break the creek to shape new sandbars. In addition to seagull droppings raining down from the sky, the seagulls use the pooled up creek water to float, bathe, groom and clean themselves. Yes, seagull poop is a part of that water, and as it stagnates with all of the other pollutants found in miles of urban runoff, it becomes a toxic soup. Elevated levels of fecal coliform are definitely in part because of the seagulls.
4) There is one nutty old dude that feeds seagulls in a way you would not believe. I have seen this screwball driving around the Aliso Beach Parking Lot with his window open and seagulls standing on the roof of his small SUV being served bread as he circled the parking lot. Can you imagine that? I am bored…what should I do? I know! I am going to drive the parking lot in circles and throw bread on top of my SUV so all the seagulls land on me vehicle and think I am their daddy! It makes you wonder who the bird brain is, doesn’t it? I think it is safely on that dude and maybe we should give more credit to the seagulls for finding ways to do as little as possible to find a meal. The pooping all over the place by seagulls at Aliso Beach certainly is not one of my favorite things about Aliso Beach. The rest of the beaches and coves in Laguna Beach provide less ease of access to the beach so predictably there are less seagulls. There is an irony to that statement because the marine environment is their home so how could that be. It is pretty simple. Seagulls congregate at Aliso Beach because they know stupid humans can’t resist feeding them. In fact, it is a routine event for people to bring their crusty old bread down to the beach and create a frenzy.
5) Feeding Aliso Beach Seagulls has contributed significantly to the car wash business in South Orange County. I am not joking when I say it is good advice to come to Aliso Beach right before you are going to get your next car wash. It is even safer to park on the hill on South Coast Highway than it is to bring your sparkling, freshly washed car into the Aliso Beach lot on the coast side. The problem though, is far worse than that. I have seen seagulls landing on cars in the Aliso Beach Parking Lot. In fact, while the knucklehead was driving around the lot feeding the birds out the window of his sport utility vehicle, I saw a seagull land on a $100K brand new Mercedes with black metallic paint. It skidded on to the trunk area and scratched the paint. I didn’t see the owner park or come back to the car while I was there so I could not tell him that the idiot driving around the lot feeding the birds was creating situations where seagulls were landing on cars and most importantly, his brand new car. That car was that person’s pride and joy. Feeding seagulls at Aliso Beach, caused damaged to this car and if it were me, I would be incensed if I knew that this seagull feeding behavior was going on.
There is no doubt that ignorant people will continue to feed seagulls at Aliso Beach. You would think it was a rite of passage or something handed down from generation to generation. If you stop feeding them, there will be less poop on the beach. This will translate to less car washes, park benches you can sit on, fewer incidents of being pooped on and less harassment from seagulls looking for food. Yes, it also will decrease the probability that a seagull will scratch your expensive new car as it slides onto the car for a web footed landing. If you think about it logically, bread isn’t even good for us. Why are we feeding it to seagulls at Aliso Beach then?