Sea gulls 'see red' and shut down mail delivery

Phil Boehmke
Alfred Hitchcock would have found this story interesting. In a bizarre twist on the British director's 1963 classic The Birds, postal carriers in East Sussex have found that life sometimes imitates art. The UK Daily Mail reports that sea gulls have been "dive-bombing" Royal Mail employees and that "the attacks have become so vicious, postmen have not delivered mail to a road in Boxhill-On-Sea, East Sussex, for seven days."

It seems that the red uniforms worm by Royal Mail carriers cause the gulls to become agitated. National Gull Rescue and Protection founder Tim McKenzie claims that young gulls associate the color red with food because of the "splash of scarlet" found at the base of their parent's beak which is clearly evident to the baby birds during feeding.


The postal carriers, fearing the frenzy created by the birds staged a boycott of Southcourt Avenue leaving the residents without mail delivery for the past week.


Builder John Burke, 64 said; ‘We did wonder about where our mail had got to. We were quite annoyed at Royal Mail for not bothering to pick up the phone to let us know why the post wasn't arriving.'

[...]

Neighbor Anthony Hamilton said; ‘I thought it was extraordinary that I'd not received any mail. The whole week had been more or less post free. Its incredible that no one thought to tell us anything. Important post is being delayed and we should have at least been notified.'

Now that the young gulls have left the nest, normal postal delivery is expected to resume. The common herring gulls which have caused the commotion are a protected species in the UK and anyone who causes harm to any of the gulls or disturbs their nest is subject to a hefty fine or six months in prison. In a final bit of irony, the gull's protection status was raised to "red" earlier this year.



paboehmke@yahoo.com

Alfred Hitchcock would have found this story interesting. In a bizarre twist on the British director's 1963 classic The Birds, postal carriers in East Sussex have found that life sometimes imitates art. The UK Daily Mail reports that sea gulls have been "dive-bombing" Royal Mail employees and that "the attacks have become so vicious, postmen have not delivered mail to a road in Boxhill-On-Sea, East Sussex, for seven days."

It seems that the red uniforms worm by Royal Mail carriers cause the gulls to become agitated. National Gull Rescue and Protection founder Tim McKenzie claims that young gulls associate the color red with food because of the "splash of scarlet" found at the base of their parent's beak which is clearly evident to the baby birds during feeding.


The postal carriers, fearing the frenzy created by the birds staged a boycott of Southcourt Avenue leaving the residents without mail delivery for the past week.


Builder John Burke, 64 said; ‘We did wonder about where our mail had got to. We were quite annoyed at Royal Mail for not bothering to pick up the phone to let us know why the post wasn't arriving.'

[...]

Neighbor Anthony Hamilton said; ‘I thought it was extraordinary that I'd not received any mail. The whole week had been more or less post free. Its incredible that no one thought to tell us anything. Important post is being delayed and we should have at least been notified.'

Now that the young gulls have left the nest, normal postal delivery is expected to resume. The common herring gulls which have caused the commotion are a protected species in the UK and anyone who causes harm to any of the gulls or disturbs their nest is subject to a hefty fine or six months in prison. In a final bit of irony, the gull's protection status was raised to "red" earlier this year.



paboehmke@yahoo.com