They're the most hated fans of all.

At AT&T Park, home of the World Series Champion San Francisco Giants, and some of the nation's finest ballpark cuisine, the ninth inning is truly for the birds, who always seem to know when a free buffet is just a few outs away.

"It's amazing how birds know when it gets toward the end of the game. That's when they show up and they know that's where their food is," says Giants manager Bruce Bochy.

They watch from the roof, send out scouts in the 7th, and once fans start to leave, it's "game on" for the gulls."

They like the really messy stuff," says Jorge Costa, senior vice president of Ballpark Operations.

"They like nachos, they like hot dogs, they like chicken wings. They're definitely the fast food guys. They're in it for a quick and dirty, 'get in, get out, goodbye.'"

Hundreds of gulls - don't call them seagulls- dive bomb the stands, and even the fields, causing distraction during games.

"They don't bother me," says Bochy, "but I know the outfielders are trying to shoo them away, because when the ball's hit, they fly, and they lose the ball, whatever."

No birds have been hit yet, but plenty of people have, because this season's flock is bigger and more aggressive than ever, turning the whole park into seriously foul territory.

Former Giant and current team announcer Mike Krukow says he sees the birds coming over the horizon at each and every game. And lately, he says he's seeing something else.

"It has gotten to the point where people have actually brought in umbrellas, because with gulls being gulls, if you didn't know better you'd swear they were doing it on purpose. But people are getting splattered by them," says Krukow.

"You gotta run, duck, and cover, just like an earthquake," says longtime fans Sean O'Keefe.

It's now a turf war with the Giants considering their line-up of options: noisemakers, netting, even spikes.

But to beat the birds at their own game, bigger birds may be required.

AT&T Park could become the home of the falcons.

"Falcons can be one of the most effective tools in a bird abatement program," says Steve Vasconcuellos, head of Wingmaster Falconry, Inc.

Hawks, owls, or other birds of prey could scare away the gulls, though not eat them.

The strategy is often used at landfills, airports, hotels, and public settings where the presence of too many birds, well, ruffles feathers- and presents a public health issue.

But just like in baseball, AT&T officials say the bottom line is about numbers, money, and percentages.

"It's costly. I mean, it would be six figures," says Costa. "You might get 60 or 70 percent to go away, but you're still going to have that 20 to 25 percent that are still gonna come."

And with all the leftovers in the stands, really who can blame them.

The Giants promise some kind of gameplan soon, as they face down -- if not their most tenacious adversary-- certainly their hungriest.