Is it Illegal to Feed a Seagull in Maine?
Editor's note: This article was written by a Townsquare Media Northern New England contributor and may contain the individual's views, opinions or personal experiences.
One of the birds that happens to be synonymous with Maine is the seagull. In slang terms, it has been given several different nicknames like a rat with wings or a trash chicken. But seagulls in Maine, specifically on beaches and oceanfront towns, seem inescapable. Part of the reason is that seagulls in Maine have just enough access to food and shelter that they simply don't want to leave. While there's food to be had from the vast ocean, seagulls also don't mind a taste of "people" food either. So is it illegal in Maine to actually feed seagulls?
No, It is Not Illegal in Maine to Feed Seagulls
In Maine, there is no tangible legislation that makes feeding seagulls illegal in the state. Several years ago, a controversy erupted in Rockland where a woman's persistent feeding of seagulls led to a bird poop situation. Town officials ordered the woman to stop feeding seagulls leading to an eventual ordinance. That move prompted many to question whether a state law should be enacted prohibiting the feeding of seagulls. Despite plenty of support, such a law was never passed.
Is it Illegal in Other States to Feed Seagulls?
Yes. Several other states including South Carolina and California have laws on the books that prohibit people from excessively feeding seagulls. Laws were enacted in those states after sea birds became increasingly aggressive in areas where food was served and/or consumed.
Are there Any Laws in Maine Pertaining to Seagulls?
Yes. Hunting seagulls in Maine is prohibited thanks the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. In fact, hunting, pursuing, capturing or killing a seagull is a federal offense and could lead to stiff fines if you're caught in the act. Under the same federal act, it's also illegal to remove or destroy a seagull nest without contacting the property authorities first.