Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Seagulls, My Brother, And Disappearing

As a kid who was raised on the water, sea gulls were a daily affair and we never did pay much attention to them. Except for upcoming weather breeding, or when we were fishing and those herring gulls would indicate to us the whereabouts of bait fish.

But why do we never see young gulls, or where did they disappear to during bad weather? I learned they would hide in the rocks of breakwaters and on small islands when storms came through, and am now getting a full night’s sleep.

Last week, I spent a night on a small island, inhabited by cormorants and seagulls. I saw a few species of gulls that were new to me, one of a brownish colour. Turns out these browns are young seagulls, and as the mother nests in cracks & crannies on the rocky shores, the babies blend in with the local environment.

This one I watched had adopted a rock; it would stand there and seem to be bewildered about the world around it, sort of like a young child who just realized that there is more than its backyard out there.

Now they do not have many predators but I was surprised to see that one of the few predators are….other gulls! I saw two adult gulls kill and devour a young one. As I walked among the rocks near the shore I discovered many seagull skeletons, many. I had not previously known that they were carnivorous specie.
>Written by my brother Jim Carten


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, we humans can be the same way as the gulls you saw. We are most definately a predatory species. Although we don't usually kill and eat our young, we can be less than emotionally gentle with them and with the rest of society. I can relate to that young gull who adopted the rock and pondered the strangeness of the world around it. Perhaps the best we can do is to look around us to see our fellow pilgrims and offer to walk with them. Sorry to be so damned philosophical.

September 01, 2009 12:03 PM  
Blogger Tom Carten said...

I was planning on using something like that for an article I'm writing for a series in another place. You've been reading my mind?

September 01, 2009 12:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like your philosophy Anon.


September 01, 2009 12:20 PM  

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