Friday, 12 June 2009

Herring gull behaviour, goldfinch and great tits

There is a lot of bird activity in the garden most days. Goldfinches continually pass through the garden and one or more sing from either the top of the tree or the TV ariel. The great tit family is still visiting.

The seagull activity has stepped up a notch. Now that the various herring gulls nesting in the area have chicks, they are easily disturbed by other gulls flying by and kicking up a commotion.

Seagulls do get a bad press, but they are fascinating to watch. What other bird of its size do we get the chance to get so close to. Seagulls are opportunists and due to the mess and waste we produce, seagulls have moved into towns and cities to nest on our roof tops.

The herring gulls nesting to the back of our house are the pair I can observe the most. The chicks are more mobile and what can start of as a peaceful scene can quickly change if another gull gets too near.

A nearby gull has disturbed the adult who is letting the intruder know its unhappy in its usual raucous manner.

Soon other gulls fly from their nests and come to see what all the noise is about, adding their own voices to the pandemonium.

On cliff tops, this behaviour is more likely to be triggered by a potential threat and this behaviour would focus on driving away the attacker. When gulls nest on roof tops, it is people who are sometimes on the receiving end of this behaviour.

Many gulls from all around join in the "ariel combat" and while the odd gull will swoop at another there is no physical contact between the gulls.

With no real threat to contend with the gulls eventually loose steam and head off back to their own nests and peace rains again for a while.

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