What would you do for chips?

A feisty seagull was so keen to get some McDonald's fries on Sunday, he stood on the back of his fellow seafaring chip-chaser, Napier man Ben Harman said.

"They were after chips that some guys were throwing to them," he said of Sunday's unusual sighting in the McDonald's car park.

He and his father Stan had taken four-year-old son grandson and son Jack out for a drive, and a snack, as he had been a bit unsettled earlier.


Little Jack's unsettled mood soon turned into a mood of delight, and along with his dad and granddad, puzzlement.

"He did it three or four times," Ben said.

"He jumped on the back of some other ones as well — I think he was jealous of them getting the chips before him."

He said it made little Jack's day.

And he and his dad's too for that matter.

"It was pretty hard case — never seen that before."

He had however seen gulls occasionally standing on the backs of sheep and cattle ... but never on each other.

"It wasn't a funny mating ritual — it was jealousy over the chips."


Since Stan Harman posted the picture on-line they had received a few comments from people saying they had also once seen a gull standing on another gull's back.

And Ben said he had come across another strange bout of bird behaviour involving seagulls while in Taupō.

Along the lakefront, where cars would park up, a seagull with what appeared to be a broken leg would appear and people naturally tended to pity it, and throw their scraps to it.

Which it would hop to and happily gobble up.

"Then all of a sudden we started seeing other seagulls putting one leg up because they figured that's how you got the food."

After watching the entertaining Napier "piggy back" performance Stan dubbed the main player "Brian the balancing gull".

And yep, they'll keep an eye out for Brian next time they're out for a bite.

And they'll save a few chips for him.