As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Monday, 16 April 2018

Hotel forgives guest whose room was trashed by hungry seagulls

3 April 2018

A Canadian man has been "pardoned" by a luxury hotel after his room was ransacked by a flock of pepperoni-loving seagulls nearly two decades ago.

Nick Burchill was banned by the Fairmont Empress in Victoria, British Columbia, after "a string of unfortunate events" in 2001.

In a Facebook post, the Nova Scotia man described bringing some pepperoni to naval buddies on the west coast.

The problems began when he decided to cool the meat on the hotel windowsill.

The "Brother's Pepperoni" - a Halifax delicacy - had been kept at room temperature for a short time, Mr Burchill wrote in a widely shared social media post.

He thought it would be best to make sure it was refrigerated.

But the fourth-floor room had no fridge.

Still, it was April, the air was chilly, and his front-facing room had a window.

"I lifted one of the sashes and spread the packages of pepperoni out on the table and windowsill. Then, I went for a walk…for about 4 or 5 hours," said Mr Burchill.

On his return, he found about 40 seagulls - "an entire flock" - in his room. They had been eating the pepperoni, which "does NASTY things to a seagull's digestive system".

The startled birds "immediately started flying around and crashing into things as they desperately tried to leave the room through the small opening by which they had entered," Mr Burchill said.

"The result was a tornado of seagull excrement, feathers, pepperoni chunks and fairly large birds whipping around the room. The lamps were falling. The curtains were trashed."

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