Dutchman wins European seagull screeching championship (yes, you read that right!)

A fellow Dutchman proudly stood at the top of the podium as he won first place at the European Gull Screeching Championship. 

This year, the competition took place in Adinkerke, Belgium, close to the French border, reports VRT NWS. Jarmo Slutter put on his best seagull suit and screeched his heart out. 

In some countries, you get woken up by crowing roosters. In the Netherlands, you get to listen to the sound of screeching seagulls in the morning (and then throughout the day). 

The proud Dutch champion

The 21-year-old man from Eindhoven snagged first place at the European-wide competition this year.

And Slutter found his hidden talent and made the most of that experience. 

He says that joining the competition was all a bit of a joke: “It’s the first time that I participate. It’s a joke that got out of hand,” writes VRT NWS. 

“I just imitated a seagull with friends, and apparently, it sounded good. Then we saw that there was actually a competition and I entered. I came here with a group of about 16 friends. I never thought I would win.”

If the sound of screeching seagulls awakens memories of being attacked by seagulls diving and demanding your frietje, maybe don’t watch this video:

Why a seagull screeching competition?

The competition started in Belgium five years ago. It was such a success that not only was it replicated in other countries, but it was expanded to a European-wide competition 

How did this idea even start? The creator of the competition, Claude Willaert, said that he was saddened by the bad reputation that the birds have picked up. 

They are often called the “rats of the sea” and a nuisance to cities, but Willaert says, “seagulls belong to the coast like salt to the sea.” 

He hopes that the competition will help people understand the birds instead of looking down on them.

READ MORE | Seagulls in the Netherlands: villains, yet protected by law

Seagulls’ undeservedly bad reputation is caused by human action. Feeding seagulls bread makes them more likely to continue coming closer to humans. 

And like many animals, seagulls scour the city rooftops looking for breeding grounds because theirs have been taken over by humans.

Would you take part in the European Gull Screeching Championship? Tell us in the comments below!

Feature Image:Pixabay
Naomi Lamaury
Naomi Lamaury
Naomi came to the Netherlands four years ago for her studies with two suitcases and without ever having been to the country or knowing much about it. Now, you can find her eating ‘bitterballen’ and fighting against the Dutch wind on her bike every day like a local. Naomi enjoys writing about what is going on around her alongside a warm cup of coffee.
  1. No, I wouldn’t, but I would recommend the idea of the contest to Salt Lake City, Utah as we have a massive population of seagulls here. Let’s hear(!) it for inland gulls!

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