Seagulls,like the one pictured eating a rat, are intelligent and rarely seek conflict with humans
... when birds attack humans it is usually to protect chicks nesting on rooftops or they are displaying a learned behaviour of food snatching.
This is seasonal and happens every year. If there's an increase in attacks, it's because of an increase in the number of seagulls.
Fledglings are learning to fly at this time and the parent birds can get quite protective.
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