Contest in Belgium crowns new seagull screeching champion

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April 25 (UPI) -- Squawking seabird enthusiasts gathered in a Belgian coastal town to put their vocal abilities to the test in the 2023 European Gull Screeching Championship.

The third edition of the contest, which originated five years ago as a more local event before going Europe-wide the following year, saw seagull imitators show off their best imitation screeches for a panel of five judges.


The competition aims to give humans a better understanding of seagulls, birds often maligned for their opportunistic eating habits and inconvenient defecation locations.

"Humans should be intelligent enough to avoid conflicts," the contest's website states.

Jarmo Slutter of the Netherlands was named this year's champion by the five judges. Slutter, who donned a seagull costume for his performance, said his friends encouraged him to enter the contest after hearing his imitation of a seagull's call.

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