/Letters to the EditorLetters to the EditorTo the EditorAlexis Macnab 

Letters to the EditorLetters to the EditorTo the EditorAlexis Macnab 

To the Editor

Re: Cull the Birds

While I can empathize with the residents on Mountain Lake (and presumably many others in the area) having to battle the inevitable excrement and annoyances that come hand in hand with an invasion of the scavenging creatures I take issue with the flippant way Mr. Ingram suggests we “Just shoot them. Shoot the damn seagulls.” I know the immediate response will be to write me off as a “bleeding heart” or a “left-leaning-animal-rights-activist” but let’s step back and look at the bigger picture…

We have created this issue we have “trained” these birds to behave in this manner. Because of our ignorance and our neglectful choices as a community of mindless consumers who toss garbage without a second thought we have created a fertile feeding ground for this species in the middle of our rivers and lakes. Last week when I went to the Scotch Line landfill I saw enclosed garbage bins for the first time – a great move towards diminishing what has proven to be a dangerous attractant for these birds. This is an example of working towards a solution that doesn’t just flex our proverbial muscle at eradicating a population that we have encouraged to the point of nuisance.

This is a prime example of the deplorable state of our society. This attitude is what has created the worldwide issues we are currently facing; potential world wars an opiate crisis global warming or climate change or whatever term you want to give it is all a direct result from our deliberate and distinct way of not caring about the repercussions of our actions. Rather than finding a sustainable way to rectify our self-imposed issue we focus on finding a quick cheap immediate fix without much consideration or care.

Gulls admittedly are not endangered and are not perceived as the most “majestic” – but that’s just our perception. We choose to view seagulls as scavenging thieves because they dive down and steal our discards but we eagerly put bird feeders out for blue jays give bread to our children to feed the ducks toss seed on our lawns in early spring to encourage robins… What is the difference? Perception. Because gulls don’t wait for our permission but rather help themselves we find them disgusting and invasive. I don’t recall anyone asking Mother Nature’s permission to start a giant festering mass of our discarded single-use non-recyclable plastics on her face so by that token are seagulls and humans in the same category in this regard?

Gulls are prevalent because they are good at surviving. They take advantage of that which we can’t be bothered to deal with. Gulls are known to scavenge that which we the “apex predator” and “highest member of the food chain” can’t be bothered to deal with: garbage litter roadkill landfills – as our world becomes more and more of a throw-away society anything that assists in keeping our overflowing landfills in check should be cherished and honoured – perhaps even celebrated in their utilitarian ways. Let’s not forget that these pesky birds have a healthy appetite for insects – helping to keep the mosquitoes and blackflies in check performing natural and much appreciated pest control for farmers and gardeners.

It is a really unfortunate situation that the gulls have become such a nuisance but surely we as intelligent thoughtful empathetic contributors to the human race can do better than destructively eradicating that which we have encouraged to this point.

Alexis Macnab