Here's a story from New Brunswick (a province on the east coast of Canada)
which I thought all birders might find amusing.
Brian Dalzell wrote:
> Last week I threw some large chunks of suet out in the front yard
> for the ravens to carry off. They did just that, leaving only one
> impossible to carry piece about the size of a legal sheet of paper
> (14"x8.5") and 3/16 of an inch thick. The crows played with it for several
> days, dragging it across the yard, where it sat until this morning. I just
> happened to look out the window about 11 am and there was a Great
> Black-backed Gull surrounded by four admiring crows.
> In his mouth he had this huge piece of suet, about half in and half
> out. After about 30 seconds he coughed it up and tried again. Remember,
> this chunk of suet-like material is about a pound -- the only comparison I
> can think of is trying to swallow a Canadian Tire catalogue. But as I
> watched it kept wolfing and wolfing, and then...it just disappeared inside!
> Well, I couldn't believe my eyes. These birds must be all stomach. I knew
> they could wolf down eider chicks with ease, and I had even heard of one
> swallowing a ham bone, but this was incredible.
> After he got himself around it, the gull settled to the snow and
> closed his eyes, and I thought "Oh oh, now he's choked himself or something
> and he's going to pass out". However, after about two minutes he came to
> life, with his four crow friends still stalking about shaking their heads,
> as if they too couldn't believe he ate the whole thing. The gull then ran
> about 3m and easily got airborne, cleared a nearby power line with a meter
> to spare, and glided down to the beach about 200m away, where I'm sure he
> will spend the better part of a day digesting his dinner well-earned dinner.
> | | Brian Dalzell, POB 145
> O>~ | Castalia, N.B. E0G 1L0
> ( )| | ......................
> \"|<o<o| Grand Manan Island, NB
> |<o<o| 44 43N 66 45W
** Linda Payzant <>
** Bedford Institute of Oceanography, Dartmouth, N.S. Canada, B2Y 4A2