I don't get it-- do seagulls just love a deal? What is going on here?

The warmer days mean we'll soon start seeing a familiar phenomenon: Seagulls literally flocking to Walmart parking lots. It doesn't seem like it's specific to any one Walmart, either, although I've noticed they seem particularly fond of the the North Utica and Herkimer ones.

There's no sand. There's no tide. A Walmart parking lot doesn't look like any beach I'd want to visit. So why are dozens of seagulls routinely spotted at Walmart?

Well, unfortunately, the answer is pretty simple.


Walmart parking lots are pretty disgusting. Why? Because humans are pretty disgusting. You'll generally find a whole lot of litter and garbage in your average Walmart parking lot. We just can't seem to be bothered with finding a trash receptacle-- what, with our ultra-busy lives and all. We can throw that Dunkin Donuts cup right on the ground, right? That Wendy's Baconator® wrapper, that's biodegradable, right?

Seagulls flock to Walmart parking lots because thems good eatin'. Seagulls are scavengers, which means their main food source is dead stuff. When in their natural habitat near the ocean, they can be seen picking at crabs, mollusks and other dead organisms. But they also love trash, and there's always plenty of it in a Walmart parking lot. Pizza crusts, French fries, used Band-Aids, it's a veritable smorgasbord for a garbage-hungry bird.

Although it sometimes doesn't feel like it, Walmart parking lots are still a part of the Earth. So we could all stand to be more conscious about throwing garbage away in their proper receptacles. Send those gulls back to the sea.

It also wouldn't kill us to return our carts to the corral, but one problem at a time.

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