I really do. I hate them.
I didn't used to hate them. In fact, I loved to feed them at my parents' cottage in Door County, Wisconsin.
But now I hate them--at least I hate Finnish seagulls.
They are the most agressive birds ever.
Let's just say you are enjoying a nice ice cream cone (lemon licorice--my new favorite) at Market Square by the seaside.
When suddenly, a seagull divebombs you from behind and snatches up your ice cream cone right out of your hand! Seriously, I'm not kidding. It happens all the time to people.
It almost happened to me. I screamed because a seagull was flapping over my shoulder trying to snatch my ice cream cone and the kids yelled at me for embarassing them. Imagine that. I embarassed them. I was about to have my eyeballs pecked out in some Hitchcockian way and I was embarassing them. So sorry.
Then, a few weeks later, I was MINDING MY OWN BUSINESS at the zoo. I had ZERO ice cream in my hands this time and ANOTHER seagull lands on my shoulder. Again, I screamed and again...my kids were embarassed because I made a loud noise in Finland (people are pretty quite here). As if they haven't shouted at each other from one end of the tram to the other on a regular basis sending me into the fetal position right there on the tram.
Momma seagulls are THE WORST. They make this horrible, ear-pierching screeching noise to protect their babies and to try to scare you away. It totally works on me. I took this photo with a zoom lens 'cause there was NO way I was going to get close to Momma's eggs.
By the way, this nest is right in the middle of the sidewalk.
Oh yeah, I know what you're thinking..."but they are so cute!"
They may be cute for a few weeks, but they too will grow up with the same annoying habits of their parents and it is NOT cute.
In Helsinki, they try to protect you by stringing these wires across the top of market square or other places where food is sold, but it doesn't always work.
All I can say is I will NOT miss the seagulls when we leave Finland.
If it ever occurs to you to feed seagulls...DON'T DO IT.