By Benjamin Minch, Staff Writer
Seagulls have lived hand and hand with students for a long time at Fountain Valley High School, but recent overreactions to the menacing birds have raised the question of whether the school should try and remove them.
Many students have mixed views on the seagull, with some screaming and covering their head and others simply not caring. Many who have experienced being pooped on by a seagull like Alvin Nguyen (‘18) have negative feelings toward the bird.
“I was pooped on by a seagull while waiting in the lunch line. I felt this wetness on the back of my neck, and when I touched it, it felt grainy and nasty. This ruined my day and made me feel grossed out and uneasy,” said Nguyen.
Other students such as Cameron Nakashima (‘18) and myself don’t mind the seagulls and actually like their presence at the school.
“The seagulls make the campus more interesting and add another cool thing to look at during lunch,” said Nakashima.
As a divided problem at FVHS, the seagulls aren’t easy to get rid of. Poison and pesticides would be illegal if we were to attempt them without consent of animal control and killing the birds isn’t the most ethical solution to the problem.
There are however, as outlined in National Geographic article 10 Ways to Get Rid of Pesky Birds, many easy and manageable ways to lessen the seagull amount around campus without hurting them or doing so illegally.
Many of the methods on the article are very extreme such as using a Sheepdog or mechanical spiders, but there are also many that are easy to implement.
Putting up a fake Owl or balloons: Seagulls are afraid of owls because they are one of their few predators. Putting up a fake owl will most likely scare the seagulls away, or at least keep them in fear.
Irritating scents or lights: There are many chemical adhesive pads that we could buy and place above the gym, where the seagulls hang out, which cause the seagull’s senses to be irritated.
Shiny Tape: Placing shiny tape in areas that seagulls gather, such as Bye-Bye birdie tape, actually works. The shininess reflects light and scares the seagulls away from the unknown object. Many of the Amazon reviews are positive, saying that the tape worked at ridding seagulls from their gardens and yards.
Anything Red: Studies have recently been done proving that seagulls are afraid of the color red. The school can put up red things to scare them away.
These are just some of the many ways to rid seagulls from the campus, but should the school take any of these measures to try and control the bird population? I think that some of the measures should be taken to slightly decrease the number of seagulls from the numerous 37 that populate our campus. I think that fake owls and shiny tape would be the best methods for limiting them because you can mark off specific areas such as the lunch tables where you don’t want seagulls to attack and steal food.
I do not however, think we should remove all of the seagulls on campus because they greatly help with the trash problem by eating the trash. Without seagulls eating all of our scraps, our school would be filled with hidden trash and food droppings making the ant problem increase and making more work for the janitors. Seagulls play a big enough role in the school that they should be kept at school and appreciated, not completely removed.