The Reading / Listening - Seagulls - Level 5

Researchers have a useful tactic to deter seagulls from stealing your picnic sandwiches or fries - to stare at the birds to prevent any food theft. This valuable tip comes from the University of Exeter in the UK. Researchers tested the effects of staring at the sea birds. They put some fries on the ground and checked how long it took gulls to snatch the fries without a researcher looking at them. They then did the same test, but with a researcher making eye contact. The birds took an extra 21 seconds to approach the food when a researcher stared at them.



The researchers concluded that the human gaze deterred the gulls. Only 26 per cent of the birds tried to take the food with the eye contact. Three-quarters of the birds stood still and looked at the food or flew away. A researcher said: "Gulls seemed to have a bad reputation for food-snatching, but I saw it happen quite rarely. When I did see it...gulls often swooped in from behind and people were completely oblivious. Gulls are often seen as aggressive and willing to take food from humans, so it was interesting to find that most wouldn't even come near during our tests."

Try the same news story at these levels:

    Seagulls - Level 4 or  Seagulls - Level 6

Sources
  • https://www.cbsnews.com/news/want-seagulls-to-stop-stealing-your-food-try-staring-at-them-scientists-say/
  • https://www.eater.com/2019/8/9/20799131/seagull-beach-food-stealing-stare-it-in-the-eye
  • https://www.nbcnews.com/mach/science/staring-seagulls-can-stop-them-stealing-your-food-scientists-say-ncna1040456


Make sure you try all of the online activities for this reading and listening - There are dictations, multiple choice, drag and drop activities, crosswords, hangman, flash cards, matching activities and a whole lot more. Please enjoy :-)



Phrase Matching

Paragraph 1

  1. a useful tactic to
  2. stealing your picnic sandwiches
  3. stare at the birds to prevent
  4. valuable
  5. tested the effects of staring
  6. making
  7. The birds took an
  8. when a researcher stared
  1. eye contact
  2. tip
  3. at them
  4. at the sea birds
  5. extra 21 seconds
  6. deter seagulls
  7. or fries
  8. any food theft

Paragraph 2

  1. the human gaze deterred
  2. the birds tried to
  3. eye
  4. Three-quarters of the birds
  5. looked at the food
  6. Gulls seemed to have a bad
  7. I saw it happen quite
  8. people were completely
  1. or flew away
  2. stood still
  3. oblivious
  4. reputation
  5. the gulls
  6. rarely
  7. take the food
  8. contact

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

Researchers have a useful (1) ___________________ seagulls from stealing your picnic sandwiches or fries - to stare at the birds (2) ___________________ food theft. This valuable tip comes from the University of Exeter in the UK. Researchers (3) ___________________ of staring at the sea birds. They put some fries on the ground and checked how long it took gulls to (4) ___________________ without a researcher looking at them. They then did (5) ___________________, but with a researcher making eye contact. The birds took an extra 21 seconds to approach the food when a researcher (6) ___________________.

The researchers concluded that the (7) ___________________ the gulls. Only 26 per cent of the birds tried to take the food with the eye contact. Three-quarters of the (8) ___________________ and looked at the food or flew away. A researcher said: "Gulls seemed to have (9) ___________________ for food-snatching, but I saw it happen quite rarely. When I did see it...gulls often (10) ___________________ behind and people were completely oblivious. Gulls are often (11) ___________________ and willing to take food from humans, so it was interesting to find that most wouldn't even come (12) ___________________ tests."

Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

Researchershaveausefultactictodeterseagullsfromstealingyourpicni
csandwichesorfries-tostareatthebirdstopreventanyfoodtheft.Thisv
aluabletipcomesfromtheUniversityofExeterintheUK.Researcherstes
tedtheeffectsofstaringattheseabirds.Theyputsomefriesonthegroun
dandcheckedhowlongittookgullstosnatchthefrieswithoutaresearche
rlookingatthem.Theythendidthesametest,butwitharesearchermaki
ngeyecontact.Thebirdstookanextra21secondstoapproachthefoodw
henaresearcherstaredatthem.Theresearchersconcludedthatthehu
mangazedeterredthegulls.Only26percentofthebirdstriedtotakethef
oodwiththeeyecontact.Three-quartersofthebirdsstoodstillandlooke
datthefoodorflewaway.Aresearchersaid:"Gullsseemedtohaveabadr
eputationforfood-snatching,butIsawithappenquiterarely.WhenIdi
dseeit...gullsoftenswoopedinfrombehindandpeoplewerecompletely
oblivious.Gullsareoftenseenasaggressiveandwillingtotakefoodfrom
humans,soitwasinterestingtofindthatmostwouldn'tevencomeneard
uringourtests."

Student survey

Write five GOOD questions about this topic in the table. Do this in pairs. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper. When you have finished, interview other students. Write down their answers.

(Please look at page 12 of the PDF to see a photocopiable example of this activity.)

Discussion — Write your own questions

STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

(a) ________________

(b) ________________

(c) ________________

(d) ________________

(e) ________________

(f) ________________

(g) ________________

(h) ________________

STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

(i) ________________

(j) ________________

(k) ________________

(l) ________________

(m) ________________

(n) ________________

(o) ________________

(p) ________________





Free writing

Write about this topic for 10 minutes. Comment on your partner’s paper.

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Answers

(Please check your answers against the article above.

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