Mine? Watch This Artful, Wily Gull Pry a Fish from Someone’s Lips.

by Owen James Burke

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Poor, clueless fool. Screenshot from a video (below) posted by Florida Fishing Is the Best.

Having spent the better part of my life along coastlines, I’ve seen gulls pull just about every trick in the book short of grand theft auto, and I can’t even begin to count the number of times I’ve seen them take food out of unwitting hand (mine, even, while working on a charter boat holding bait).

We’ve all had our run-ins with the gulls, and some of us fortunate few have have had the great pleasure of being defecated upon–twice, in my experience–but never have I ever seen a gull act so brazenly as to pluck a fried fish directly from a beachgoer’s gaping gob. Clearly, this exercise was calculated, and deserving of a long, slow round of applause.

This guy must have been a tourist. Any native Floridian knows to check for hungry seagulls before taking a bite of food outside!

Posted by Fishing in Florida is the Best on Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Still, I feel a bit for this poor guy. The guttural utterance before he lifts the fish (a herring, maybe?) from his plate tells me he was really about to enjoy that bite. Ah, well. C’est la vie, mon ami.

A lot of people, especially my fellow fisherpersons, strongly detest these birds as saboteurs of picnics, winged rats of the sea. I, on the other hand, have been ever-grateful to my soaring seafaring companions, for more often than not, they have been the ones to lead me to my dinner. So give your thanks today and feed a gull…just, maybe, not from your bouche. -OJB

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