They go by a bevy of different names: Scavengers of the Sea, Rats with Wings, Flying Garbage Disposals, White Vultures, and whatever else you want.

How many times have you gone to one of our Great Lakes and looked forward to feeding the gulls? You may throw them a few scraps of leftover potato chips, or go buy a loaf of bread to shred and feed 'em...and oh, they are so cute as they muscle their way through the rest just to get that little shard.

Hungry, noisy, and obnoxious...but not always so cute. It's probably not a good idea to take your little dog out for a walk on the beach – especially off the leash. Depending on size, gulls are known to grab little animals and swallow them whole. Gulls have been seen – and even recorded – swallowing rats, squirrels, and other birds. Not a good idea to have little cats or kittens nearby either...just in case.

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Sure, I look forward to feeding gulls when I go up north, but I don't take little animals with me, either.

As you already know, gulls are not confined to just large open waters like the Great Lakes or oceans. They find their way into inland WalMart, Meijer, Kroger, KMart, and mall parking lots. How do they end up there? The answer, according to “Gulls don't actually live at sea, it's a misnomer. Many are shore birds, and will follow fishing boats many miles out to sea to scavenge. They are highly opportunistic feeders, and will eat almost anything living or dead. They may be looking for shellfish and plants on the shore, small fish near the surface of the water, or insects out of the air.....But if it's easier, they're just as happy to dumpster dive or hang out at landfills. Whatever will get them a steady source of food is where they'll be.”

In closing, one other thing you may want to consider of you frequent spots where seagulls wait to feed.....they, along with the Canadian geese, make it virtually impossible to walk anywhere without stepping in poop.

But you already know that.

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