There are people in some parts of the world that have no choice but to eat seagulls in order to survive. However, eating seagulls can pose various health risks as they often end up eating trash and other waste. So can you eat seagulls?
While the simple answer is yes, it is not advised to eat seagulls, especially not urban seagulls. Do not eat seagull meat unless you have no other options.
People living on islands, for example, have consumed birds since time began. Birds are not foreign on the menu of some indigenous cultures, but there are few records of seagulls being consumed. There are cultures throughout the world that ate seagulls as part of their culture and survival.
And while wild seagulls may have been consumed in the past, for the matter of survival, modern-day seagulls should not be consumed for a variety of reasons. The meat may contain some high nutrition levels and be low in cholesterol and fat, but the meat is not palatable.
Is Seagull Meat Safe to Eat?
People living in the Shetlands, St Kildas, and the Orkneys have been eating seagulls for years. It’s true that they have even survived off of these birds. However, it is essential that the birds they consumed were wild and ate fish from the sea.
Some cultures that once may have feasted on seagull meat now steer clear of gulls. For example, the Icelandic cultures eat puffin but will not typically make seagull meat into a meal. There are also many areas that have laws set in place that ban the hunting of seagulls.
Author Note: One of the primary reasons people avoid eating seagull meat is because the gulls themselves eat spoiled meat. They could carry dangerous diseases and parasites such as trichinella.
What Does Seagull Taste Like?
Like most animals, their taste will depend on what they themselves ate. Seagulls who eat trash, old rotting meat, and other rubbish will not be palatable, and that is putting it politely. If a seagull eats fish and other healthy food, then it will probably have a better taste and may not carry as many possible diseases.
However, it is possible to empty the bird’s intestine and clear it of any residual food that may make the seagull taste similar to the food that the gull ate.
If you do have to eat seagulls, and only if you have to, then here’s the safest way to prepare the meat.
Rinse the gull’s fillets in saltwater
Soak the fillets in vinegar. Leave them to soak for at least two hours.
From there, you can fry the fillets.
But, it is essential that we stress that eating seagulls is not advised at all and should not be done if you can help it.
Seagull meat tastes vile. It has an oily and gamey texture that is not pleasant to eat at all. What’s more, the seagull is not a meaty bird and will not offer much meat at all. Do not expect to yield meat like you would turkey or chicken.
Seagull Meat Nutrition
Seagull meat is said to be high in protein and little else. Despite being exceptionally oily meat, it is low in saturated fat as well as being low in cholesterol.
While the seagull itself is not a pleasant meat to eat, their eggs may have a different result on your tastebuds altogether. However, you should always check your local laws and regulations before you head out to harvest yourself some seagull eggs for your breakfast.
Besides ensuring you are legally allowed to harvest seagull eggs, it would be wise to brush up on poison reports related to seagull egg consumption. There are plenty of reports detailing how seagull eggs have resulted in the poison after consumption. Therefore, although they may be tastier than the gull’s meat, it is also not advised to consume seagull eggs either.
Can You Get Sick From a Seagull?
Let’s forget about consuming seagulls for a moment and longer if possible. We have already established that while it is entirely possible to eat seagulls, it simply should not be done.
Author Note: Live seagulls can carry diseases such as E. Coli (Escherichia coli). This infection can bring about illnesses such as septicemia and gastroenteritis. Other infections, such as
Escherichia coli (E. Coli) – mainly spread by seagulls, it can lead to illnesses such as septicemia and gastroenteritis.
Is Seagull Poop Toxic?
Seagull bird poop can also be a carrier for Cryptococcosis and Histoplasmosis (fungal infections). Approximately 90% of seagull poop carries Enterococcus, which is a cause of infections that are resistant to antibiotics.
Do Seagull Feathers Carry Disease?
Any feather from an urban-dwelling bird can be a carrier of a plethora of bacteria, parasites, and viruses. However, the main concern when it comes to bird feathers should be feathers that come from a deceased bird. A dead bird’s feathers are the likely suspects when it comes to diseases, while feathers from a live bird are typically not contaminated.
Can you Legally Kill Seagulls?
The UK has the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 in place to protect migratory bird species, such as the seagull. Therefore, the UK prohibits the hunting, pursuing, selling, and killing of the seagull. These restrictions also protect an active seagull’s nest, and it is illegal in the UK to disturb or even move a nest. Even if you are annoyed with the number of seagulls inland, you can’t kill them!
What is the Lifespan of a Seagull?
Seagulls are related to the tern family, and both these species belong to the Laridae family. There are more than 20 different kinds of gull species in North America. The life expectancy of seagulls will vary according to the specific species. Herring gulls have the longest life expectancy.
The Herring gull even holds the record for the longest living gull. One recorded gull lived up to 49 years. However, the average lifespan of a Herring gull is 30+ years. Not all species of gulls live out such long lives. The Ring-billed gull, for example, has a lifespan of half the Herring gull and can be expected to live between 10 and 15 years.
Despite being an annoyance to many people, it is undeniable that seagulls are incredible birds. They travel far distances for their migratory patterns, and their long flight is not for migration alone. Gulls are known to travel far across the sea in search of a meal.
Not only can they fly far distances, but they can fly fast too. Gulls have clocked speeds of approximately 28 mph.
Evolution of Seagulls
Seagulls have developed glands just above their eyes. Thanks to evolution, these glands are positioned just above the eyes and help keep the salt from sticking to their bodies. Thanks to this pair of glands help the gulls to remain at sea for days as they search for food. Without these glands, the gulls would have to return to shore for a drink of fresh water.
Feeding Human Food to Gulls: Don’t do it
Whether some people feed seagulls human food out of adoration or amusement, it simply shouldn’t be done. It is all too common in cities to see people, whether laughing tourists or spiteful locals, launching human food at a seagull. If this were birdseed or fresh fish, it would be a different story.
However, the food is often processed human food, such as fries, candy, or bread. Sure, many assume they are being generous, but the wild seagulls should not be eating this processed human food.
With the rise of social media, people also intend on posting videos and pictures of seagulls flocking for the food they offer. Gulls swooping in to grab food out of a person’s hand may make for interesting social media material, but it does no good to the gulls themselves. It is dangerous for both the person and the gull.
Feeding Seagulls Can Kill Them
Wildlife tragedies are often the result of human interaction, especially when humans attempt to feed wildlife with human food. Despite how excited gulls can get at the prospect of human food, no one should not feed them, not for amusement, and certainly not for videos on social media.
If you want to feed birds, then set up a bird feeder in your backyard. Only feed them birdseed or their natural food, and try to keep it as natural and unprocessed as possible.
Author Note: By consuming unhealthy human foods such as candy or fries, the gulls can become malnourished. Sure, their calorie intake is dramatically higher, but the food offers little to no nourishment. Their natural food of fresh fish is essential for a gull’s development and survival.
They are highly active birds that require the nutrients to survive. When gulls consume predominantly human nutrient-deficient foods, they become malnourished. They can develop deformities that gravely affect their quality of life and lead to suffering and eventual death.
Feeding gulls also teaches the gulls to come closer to humans and encourages them to live away from their natural coastal habitat. The gulls will begin to lurk closer to human activity, waiting for an easy meal. As the gulls become more comfortable, they will become more aggressive.
Gulls are wild animals, but they are also intelligent birds. So, they have learned behavior- which means they will follow people for food. Juvenile gulls will pick up this behavior from mature gulls, and their natural ways of foraging for natural food may even fall by the wayside.
This may eventually result in evolutionary catastrophe. Gulls may lose their natural ability, as well as their instinct, to hunt for healthy and fresh fish.
If you find Seagulls tiresome, perhaps stop feeding them human food.
We hope you enjoyed this article on can you eat seagulls.
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