Belgian Town Hosts Wacky Seagull Screeching Championship

Aspiring seagull imitators from all over Europe recently gathered in the Belgian town of Adinkerke to take part in the first European Gull Screeching Championship.

The wacky event took place in a local pub and required competitors to channel their inner gull, both vocally and physically. While the emphasis of the competition was on the sound produced by participants, with a maximum of 15 points being awarded for the best screeching sounds, participants could also score up to 5 points by putting on a proper performance. Some just flapped their arms in a gull-like manner, others wore seagull-style beaks on top of their heads, and a few actually wore gull costumes to impress the judges. It all sounds silly, but the Gull Screeching Championship actually has a serious goal.

Photo: cocoparisiene/Pixabay

The idea for a gull screeching competition came about a couple of years ago. Many in the coastal province of West Flanders were complaining about how much of a nuisance gulls had become. Whether it was stealing sandwiches or ice cream from people’s hands on sea dikes, opening up garbage bags with their beaks, or their droppings constantly making a mess, gulls had developed a bad reputation, so some of their fans decided to come up with away to portray the coastal birds in a fun, positive light. And that’s how the screeching championship came to be.

“People have come together to make the best imitation of the sound of a gull, which sounds quite stupid, but it is real science,” Jan Seys, a scientist from the Flanders Marine Institute and a judge in this year’s contest, said. “Before you can really imitate a gull, you have to make nice observations otherwise you’ll never make it.”


As you can see and hear in the video, competition at this first ever European Gull Screeching Championship was stiff. Participants really gave it their all, imitating different styles of gull screeching and entertaining the audience with their best gull expressions. In the end,  Reggy Laatsch, 31, from Amsterdam and Bregje Iding, 21, from Hasselt in Belgium, were declared the winners.