Saturday, 11 July 2009

Herring gulls and first flight

A drizzly windy day and ideal conditions for a herring gull chicks first flight.
Every time the wind picked up one of the chicks became very active bouncing up and down with wings open.

After a couple of false alarms, the chick launched itself into the air and managed a very awkward and short first flight

Touch down.

Herring gulls get a lot of bad press, being called noisy, blamed for tearing open bin bags and generally being a pest. However, as is often the case this has been largely due to us messy humans providing the gulls (who scavenge as part of their natural diet) an easy food source. At the same time we are over fishing the seas and putting pressure on our coastline causing gulls to adapt to a different lifestyle. In recent years UK herring gulls have declined by about 25% and they are now listed as a red status species.

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