[Fwd: A Great Black-backed Gulp]

Subject: [Fwd: A Great Black-backed Gulp]
From: Linda Payzant <>
Date: Mon, 03 Feb 1997 13:07:26 -0400
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 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

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