Yarborough comments on Down East’s archival seagull article
David Yarborough, a professor in the School of Food and Agriculture and wild blueberry specialist at the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, was quoted in a Down East magazine post that revisited an archival article. “Symbols of the Maine Coast — Herring Gulls,” appeared in the magazine’s August 1956 issue. “Herring gulls do a thorough job of keeping Maine beaches free of dead or stranded fish, as well as general refuse,” the original article stated. “This service is not often recognized by coastal blueberry growers, who have tried unsuccessfully to ward off the hungry birds with scarecrows, whirling devices, mirrors, and noisemakers.” The 1956 article also mentioned an egg control program to prevent hatching, but stated “the only sure method is patrolling the fields during the harvest season.” In the new post, Yarborough said hungry seagulls still confound blueberry growers today. “There is some use of a CO2 noise cannon, but as you would expect, it is not very popular with the neighbors,” he said.