Researchers have come up with a useful to deter seagulls from stealing your picnic or making a grab for your French fries. The advice is to stare at the birds to prevent any food . This invaluable tip comes from a from the University of Exeter in the UK. Researchers conducted tests at a on the effects of staring at the sea birds. They put a of fries on the ground and monitored how long it took gulls to approach and snatch the fries without a looking at the birds. They then carried out the same , but this time a researcher made eye as a bird approached. The birds took an extra 21 seconds to approach the food when a researcher stared at .
The researchers concluded that the seagulls were deterred by the human . Only 26 per cent of the birds made an to take the researchers' food with the eye contact. Three-quarters of the birds just stood and looked at the or flew away. Lead Madeleine Goumas said: "I noticed that gulls seemed to have a bad for food-snatching, but I saw it happen quite . When I did see it happen, gulls often swooped in from behind, and the people were completely . Gulls are often seen as aggressive and to take food from humans, so it was interesting to find that wouldn't even come near during our tests."