Kenosha, Wisconsin — A man feeds bread to Ring-Billed Gulls at Pennoyer Park on Lake Michigan.
Please don’t do this. Quoting from the article linked above:
The rapidly expanding ring-billed gull population has led to many conflicts between seagulls and people. Rooftop colonies, common in Milwaukee are becoming larger and more widespread as time goes on and the population increases. In Illinois, the first rooftop colony was documented in 2001 and is continuing to be a growing, spreading, problem. Some of the issues include damage to the roof due to clogged drains from the build-up of nesting materials, feathers, and droppings—1 study demonstrated that the lifespan of a roof can be cut by 50% due to concentrated bird use. Another problem identified with rooftop nesting is aggressive, mobbing action of defensive sea gulls, this can often prevent HVAC technicians from completing necessary work. In addition, the build-up of droppings near ventilation systems has lead to concerns for the health of employees working inside the buildings. Sea gulls frequenting beaches also cause concern due to the large amount of e. coli present in their droppings. The build-up of sea gull droppings, and the associated e. coli, on the beach and in the water often leads to swim bans and beach closings. 1 study found that swim bans due to e. coli counts cost the City of Chicago over 2 million dollars! E. coli in Lake Michigan waters has been conclusively linked to gull droppings through numerous studies using DNA fingerprinting. Sea gulls can also pose a threat to other bird species by predating on chicks and eggs of other nesting sea birds. Lastly, sea gulls are involved in more aircraft collisions than any other bird species. These can certainly be serious and even fatal due to the size and flocking nature of sea gulls.