Do not Feed the Birds

I saw several of these signs when I stopped for lunch at Vancouver’s Granville Island.

On the other side, the signs say this.

Very true. As M and I sat on a bench overlooking the water to drink our coffees, a mom with two young daughters arrived to sit on the bench next to us. The youngest one, who is about 5, began to take a bite from her sandwich but within seconds, a gull flew in and ripped the whole sandwich practically out of her mouth.

In the blink of an eye, there were no less than five or six gulls aggressively fighting over the sandwich in the small space between me and the little girl. I would not have wanted to get in their way!

The little girl was scared and her mom shocked. I wondered what would have happened if they hadn’t quite gotten the sandwich; they might have swarmed the child.

So I agree with the BCSPCA. Feeding the birds is not healthy for them, in more ways than one.

10 thoughts on “Do not Feed the Birds”

  1. That sounds straight out of a Hitchcock movie! Apparently, the gulls do not agree with the sign and have decided to take matters into their own hands…. er, wings.

    1. Haha. 🙂
      Hitchcock’s The Birds zoomed to the front of my mind, for sure! They were vicious with each other and I’m really glad that child didn’t try to hang on to her sandwich.

  2. Good story Lynette. Animal lovers can often create many of the problems that arise in nature in the urban setting. This is likely why there is such a huge coyote problem in cities. Some people have given them food and now they expect that from everyone and they get very insistent when it is not forthcoming. We all need to realize bird and animals may look tame, but they are wild and need to stay that way to survive. Allan

    1. Thanks, Allan. There’s a significant coyote problem in Stanley Park (there have been a number of attacks lately). The city has now put motion-activated cameras everywhere in an attempt to figure out what’s going on. Apparently lots of partiers are leaving plenty of very attractive snacks behind, but that’s only part of it, I think. I agree that there’s far too much interaction; people treating them as if they’re some kind of pet.

  3. I remember noticing this sign (and later others) soon after moving here, and thinking as you do: “hurray.” Unfortunately, as seems perversely often the case, the people who need the signs ignore them and the people who pay attention don’t need them. (And that’s as smug & judgmental as i’ll get, yikes.) I’ve been in bird sanctuaries, both on Vcr Island and at the Reifel Sanctuary out in Delta, where they sell healthy packets of treats to offer the voracious birds. Better, I suppose, but it’s still training wildlife to interact with humans and depend on humans, and that’s surely not a good idea.

    1. Hahaha. 🙂 Agreed. The ones who need the signs ignore them, although I have to say there were many of them, and they’re big. Selling the heathy food means that the sanctuary is making some money, but yes, the birds are still associating people with eating, and that’s not healthy for them at all.

    1. It was. The suddenness certainly surprised me! When I got up to leave, I tried to alleviate the little girl’s fear by commenting to her that she would have a very exciting story to tell her friends.

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