'Seagull Boy' migrates to London for exhibition

A nine-year-old boy who found fame due to his uncanny impression of a seagull received a special invitation to London because of his talent.

Cooper, from Chesterfield in Derbyshire, won the EC Gull Screeching competition in Belgium in April.

News outlets flocked to report on the story, and Cooper did more than 40 interviews with radio stations, TV channels and newspapers around the world.

The Natural History Museum in London then invited Cooper to a private tour of a new exhibition all about birds, before the museum opened to the public.

'So fluffy'

Cooper, whose seagull mimicry began after he was nipped by one on a beach in Devon, told the BBC he enjoyed his avian adventure.

"I think it's a really, really, really, really, really good, 10 out of 10 exhibition, because there's so many different birds and their different habitats, and what they eat for prey, and giant eggs, and snakes with eggs inside them, and massive birds like the albatross," he said.

His favourite exhibit was the albatross, which he liked because they're "basically like seagull ancestors and the babies are so fluffy and they look a bit like a teddy bear".

Baby albatross
Cooper said the baby albatross looked "a bit like a teddy bear" [Natural History Museum]

The exhibition, called Birds: Brilliant and Bizarre, is on until 5 January 2025.

It is in affiliation with the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), and aims to educate people about birds and how they can help protect them.

Dr Alex Burch, director of public programmes at the museum, said: "These seemingly familiar creatures who soundtrack spring mornings and peck along the pavements carry with them an array of clever adaptations they have developed to secure their place on Earth.

"Throughout this exhibition, visitors will explore the extraordinary variety of the bird kingdom and learn the secrets of their success.

"We also hope that people will come away with a newfound appreciation for these great survivors.”

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