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July 2022, UK: Summer is here, which means school holidays, visits to the beach and delicious al fresco dining are firmly on the menu. But, there is always a risk of having your food stolen by beach-loving birds! With a whopping 53% of Brits having experienced a seagull stealing their food in the past*, Deliveroo is swooping in to help give us a perfect seagull-free holiday, by launching ‘Chipwatch’ - a mobile seagull deterrent crew armed with reflective umbrellas, decoy hawks and a unique new seagull distracting track called ‘Bye Gull Bye’ by Deliveroo, available on YouTube and coming soon to Spotify.
Popping up on Brighton beach (Friday 22nd July) and Scarborough beach (Sunday 24th July), beachgoers and holidaymakers can enter the Deliveroo ‘Chipwatch’ zones on a first-come-first-served basis and enjoy their fish and chips and other foods in peace, without the threat of their meal being pecked and pinched.
Inspired by one of the most popular American TV shows of the 90s, the Deliveroo ‘Chipwatch’ Crew will be patrolling the designated areas armed with bird deterring devices such as propellers, reflective umbrellas and decoy hawks, all known to keep seagulls at bay.
Deliveroo has also worked with a gull expert and sound engineers to create a brand new audio track, which will provide the background music to the ‘Chipwatch’ zones to further ensure a seagull-free experience and is also available nationwide on Youtube and coming soon to Spotify. It has been curated in collaboration with Dr Madeleine Goumas, a researcher of urban herring gulls from the University of Exeter, who advised on the curation of the track in a safe way for seagulls, whilst protecting diners at the same time.
Aisha Jefferson at Deliveroo, said:“One of the biggest summer rituals is al fresco dining, especially on the beach, but seagulls can wreak havoc on your peaceful picnic. If you’re worried about food-snatching seagulls, our Chipwatch crew will be on hand to protect you from having to share your food with our flying friends. If the beach isn’t your thing but you still find yourself covering your snacks, we’ve curated a music track that will safely distract and deter seagulls from pinching your food. It’s also a bit of a banger, which you can play via the Deliveroo Youtube or Spotify channel. Hopefully it’ll be music to your ears, but not so much the seagulls’...”*
Dr Madeleine Goumas, from the University of Exeter said: “My published research has shown that calls from birds such as falcons and eagles, when played, can deter seagulls and other birds from that area, as they are aware of the specific sounds their predators make. The track we’ve helped create specifically for Deliveroo incorporates a number of different sounds from the mentioned bird of prey calls, high frequency sounds to white noise. Gulls are generalist feeders so they can eat a wide range of food, which is why they can eat our food. Our food is usually larger and more nutritionally dense compared with gulls’ ‘natural’ food, so it is very attractive to them**. This is a great initiative to help the public enjoy their Summer holidays without the threat of unwanted birds, all whilst not being harmful to them.”
Notes to Editors: This partnership is 100% friendly to the birds, and no seagulls will be harmed throughout the duration of the campaign.
*All the facts have been supported by research conducted by 3Gem for Deliveroo. General results available for reference
**A Fact Sheet about Seagulls, developed by gulls expert and ornithologist, Dr Madeleine Goumas, can be found here
***The Spotify release date is set for Thursday 21st July
About the song ‘Bye Gulls Bye’ by Deliveroo Deliveroo worked with sound engineers and bird expert and ornithologist, Dr Madeleine Goumas, to create an audio track that would safely deter gulls, backed by research.
A list of sounds known to repel seagulls, without causing harm, were compiled and produced on top of a groovy backing track to create the final soundscape.
During the song production process, the audio track was tested in a safe environment in front of gulls owned by the bird expert, to find a happy medium of listening experience and effectiveness.
The sounds which can be heard throughout the audio track, which are known to safely deter gulls are:
About Dr Madeleine Goumas She is a postdoctoral research associate working on herring gull behaviour and cognition in environments where they frequently interact with humans. Dr Madeleine Goumas has recently completed her PhD on herring gulls' use of human cues.
This partnership is 100% friendly to the birds, and no seagulls will be harmed across the duration of the campaign