Even the seagulls are throwing the struggling San Francisco Giants baseball team for a loss this year.
Giants officials trying to find a humane solution to the worsening onslaught of the birds at home games are stumped, the San Jose Mercury News reported.
The gulls have routinely showed up at the end of night games since the park along San Francisco Bay opened in 2000, but it appears an increasing number of birds are crashing night games this year, bothering players, workers and fans alike.
Hundreds of gulls sometimes land on the field during play. They also defecate on fans and create cleanup headaches for staff.
Biologists said they do not know how the seagulls time their arrival for the end of games to feast on discarded hot dogs, popcorn and other food. “They are incredibly intelligent animals,” said biologist Russ Bradley, a seagull specialist. “Unless you want to build a dome, there’s no easy answer.”
Federal law prohibits shooting the birds, and hiring a falconer to scare them away would cost US$8,000 a game, said Jorge Costa, the Giants’ manager of operations. The Giants are also concerned a falcon could gruesomely kill a seagull in front of families and a television audience.