The same thing happened to me a couple of years ago. I had just gotten a
hamburger from Beansies and was carrying it and my infant son across the
grass when a gull swooped over my shoulder, grabbed the meat from its bun,
and kept on flying. A friend later told me that her child was eating
something at Battery Park and had sustained a "lip bite" when a gull tried
to take the food away! They clearly have a technique that works....
Nongame and Natural Heritage Program
Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife
5 Perry Street, Suite 40
Barre, VT 05641-4266
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From: Vermont Birds [mailto:[log in to unmask]]On Behalf Of Steve Antell
Sent: Wednesday, June 15, 2005 3:36 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [VTBIRD] Standoff in Battery Park
I have been an avid reader of VTBIRD messages and appreciate everyone's
fascination and joy in all things avian. Indeed, I have had many memorable
experiences myself over the years and especially enjoy this time of year.
There is, however, a darker, mostly unspoken side to the world of birds, and
I think it only prudent and fair to warn others of the dangers lurking out
Actually, thoughts of atlassing and bird song were not even on my mind last
Friday as I ordered fries and a hamburger from the bus at Battery Park. I
was hungry and looking forward to a quiet break from my all day conference.
I sat on a picnic table and contentedly began eating my admittedly less than
gourmet lunch. Just as I was ready to take yet another bite out of my
hamburger, I was rudely thwacked on the back of my head. In the split
second that it took to begin processing the assault, the burger was knocked
from my hand, landing on the ground several feet away. A ring-billed gull
landed nearby, squawking loudly in an attempt to intimidate me further and
was quickly joined by several co-conspirators, all carrying on loudly. In
the excitement of the moment, I managed to spill my fries all over the
picnic table. I instantly decided that there was no way I was going to
allow such churlish behavior to pay off. But it also occurred to me that
the hamburger might have only been a diversion and that if I went after it,
the fries would quickly become history. I resorted to several feinting
moves toward the burger while quickly scooping the fries back into the
container. Fries safely back in the box, I then gathered up the no longer
particularly appetizing hamburger (to me, at least) and buried it in a
nearby trash container, taking perverse pleasure in knowing the gulls would
realize it was there but that they were not going to be able to get to it.
I scurried out of the park, nervously eating the rest of my fries while
frequently looking over my shoulder, lamenting that I really had not had
enough lunch to hold me.
Could a similar traumatic event have been Hitchcock's inspiration?