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What A Junk Food Diet Means For Seagulls In The Northwest

New research across several decades shows seagulls are eating more food from the garbage. Just like humans, their health is suffering as they eat more junk food.
Flickr / Bev Sykes
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New research across several decades shows seagulls are eating more food from the garbage. Just like humans, their health is suffering as they eat more junk food.

Anyone who’s been to the beach knows that seagulls will eat pretty much anything.

New research from the University of British Columbia shows just how bad seagull diets in the Northwest have become.

Louise Blight analyzed hundreds of seagull feathers stored in museums around Washington and British Columbia over the past 150 years.

She found a decline in heavier carbon and nitrogen isotopes in the feathers.

That indicates that the birds shifted their diet from fish to french fries and other garbage.

And it’s having an effect: Seagull egg size has shrunk in recent decades, as has their number of offspring.

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Ashley Ahearn