Seagulls travel for miles to visit specific shops as they remember fish and chip hotspots, research finds

Some of the studied birds flew over 100 miles just to reach their preferred chippy

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Seagulls remember their favourite fish and chip shops and can navigate their way back to them from miles away, researchers say.

Tracking the gulls using GPS technology, the scientists found that some would fly over 100 miles just to reach their preferred chippy.

The discovery was made by following colonies from the Lady Isle and Pladda in the Clyde and Oronsay and Islay in the Inner Hebrides.

One Herring gull on Lady Isle in the Clyde, would fly all the way to the Ayr Racecourse for its scraps of battered cod.

The distance one seagull flies for its fish and chips - from Lady Isle to Ayr Racecourse
The distance one seagull flies for its fish and chips - from Lady Isle to Ayr Racecourse
A seagull eyes up fish and chips
A seagull eyes up fish and chips

Dr Nina O'Hanlon, study author, said: "We downloaded data from at least five individuals at the chip shop.

"Some of the individuals were making repeated visits."

The study was part of efforts to understand why Herring gulls have seen a steep population decline.

They were placed on the Birds of Conservation Concern Red List after their numbers dropped by by 48 percent since 1986.

"Identifying the intertidal areas most favourable to Herring gulls and providing effective protection during the non-breeding period could benefit populations," the researchers wrote.

The research was published in the journal Frontiers in Marine Science.