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Eye on the Bay

Seagull Takes On Banana In Bizarre Bird Behavior

by Brandon Mercer
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(Credit: Brandon Mercer / CBS SF)

(Credit: Brandon Mercer / CBS SF)

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — It takes quite a scene for joggers, tourists, and late-for-the morning-board-meeting business execs fleeing their ferries to stop dead in their tracks on the Embarcadero, but a lone seagull trying to eat half its weight in banana had just that effect Thursday.

It’s not news that a seagull was eating people food, but perhaps there is some news value in the fact that this decade, everyone has one or two HD cameras in their pocket, and can capture anything they like for posterity with a swipe and a tap, as evidenced here.

The gull repeatedly tried to fly off with the tropical fruit, only to be dragged back down in an aerial acrobatic display worthy of a Hanna-Barbera cartoon.  If it were a Seattle Seahawk instead of a seagull, struggling to control a football instead of a banana, it might have made more sense to the on-lookers.

To add a modicum of fact to what is little more than a few paragraphs about an amusing photo, Michelle Bellizzi from International Bird Rescue in Fairfield said, “I’ve seen gulls with donuts, I’ve seen them with fruit, and it doesn’t seem to cause any gastrointestinal problems.  They can get some benefit out of a variety of foods.”

She added that gulls are smart, “They know what we eat is probably something food-oriented, so if they see people eating something, they’ll give it a taste.”  This particular bird wouldn’t give up on tearing into that banana.

Bellizzi does confirm that fish is the healthiest item for seagulls, and bread, usually bread handed to them by humans, is the worst thing they could eat.  She said, “Like so many urban animals they’re relaxed their diet.”

Including bananas.

A seagull spotted on the Embarcadero trying to fly off with a banana. (Credit: Brandon Mercer / CBS SF)

A seagull spotted on the Embarcadero trying to fly off with a banana. (Credit: Brandon Mercer / CBS SF)

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