Saturday, March 20, 2010

PostHeaderIcon They should be saving it for the peregrines and ravens

I'd thought the purpose of colonial nesting was to guarantee each participating bird the protection afforded by thousands of comrade kin, each bird sharing the goal of a productive and drama-free summer nesting season. From time to time, the gulls appear to have a different idea.

See for yourself in three parts what happens when two colonial WEGUs disagree over who has the rights to a morsel of chicken:

Usually, gull fights last mere seconds, perhaps a minute. In this case, it would span more than 27 minutes of blood and mandibles. Though these gulls fought over chicken, they played for keeps. They gnawed on necks, attempted to snap or damage wings, and bit into faces and eyes as they brawled. On multiple occasions one bird would force the other to the ground where it would lie motionless, seemingly defeated and dead, only to have it twitch back to life a moment later and take its turn as the aggressor.

Sorry for the shaky camera work. Honestly, this stuff has an effect on my stomach. The comments visitors made as they watched, audible in the background, were notable as well, especially the jokes about placing bets.

My work week on Alcatraz starts tomorrow. We will be watching the for the falcons and blogging accordingly.


BourbonHawk said...

I'm two minutes in to that first video and it's already the worst gull fight I've ever seen. Jeez.

BourbonHawk said...

Though I must say, very metal and brutal. Ha.

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