Researchers have come with a useful tactic to deter seagulls stealing your picnic sandwiches or making a grab your French fries. The advice is to stare the birds to prevent any food theft. This invaluable tip comes a study from the University of Exeter the UK. Researchers conducted tests at a beach on the effects of staring at the sea birds. They put a bag fries on the ground and monitored how long it took gulls to approach and snatch the fries a researcher looking at the birds. They then carried the same test, but this time a researcher made eye contact as a bird approached. The birds took an extra 21 seconds to approach the food when a researcher stared them.
The researchers concluded that the seagulls were deterred the human gaze. Only 26 per cent the birds made an attempt to take the researchers' food the eye contact. Three-quarters the birds just stood still and looked the food or flew . Lead researcher Madeleine Goumas said: "I noticed that gulls seemed to have a bad reputation food-snatching, but I saw it happen quite rarely. When I did see it happen, gulls often swooped in behind, and the people were completely oblivious. Gulls are often seen as aggressive and willing to take food humans, so it was interesting to find that most wouldn't even come near our tests."