Friday, October 14, 2011

Gulls and Crabs

Our Columbus Day weekend was beautiful for photography.  There was no rain in the forecast and I was out photographing every morning.  I ready put on my last blog about the American avocets that were Newport, Rhode Island.  After finishing with the avocets, I returned to 3rd beach in Middletown, Rhode Island, where there were a number of gulls catching crabs in the surf for food. 

 People tend to think of gulls only as scavengers, since they're used to seeing him and parking lots, especially of fast food stores where they are always looking for handouts.  Gulls to feed on dead or dying species of animals, fish are invertebrates that wash up onto the shore.  They also will eat baitfish from the ocean and, of course, follow fishing boats looking for leftovers.

The gulls were energetic and catching the crabs.  Then they would bring them to shore, where they would systematically eat them.  In fact, all the species of gulls that were there were catching the crabs.  That included Great Black-Back Gulls, Ring-Build Gulls, and Herring Gulls.

I am including a video that was made from individual slides showing what the gulls went through in order to catch a crab.
So don't think of gulls as pests, but as part of the normal ecological lifecycle where they serve as sanitation engineers.