Feeding Silver Gulls

To: bird <>
Subject: Feeding Silver Gulls
From: brian fleming <>
Date: Fri, 13 Oct 2006 20:32:38 +1000
Hullo John,
Good observation of normal gull behaviour - Silver Gulls often puddle food items out of wet sand and mud in shallow water as you have described. I have often seen this activity at Seaford on the Bay. I formed the opinion that they were eating the very small bivalves Little Wedge Shell, whose shells form great drifts on the beach. (Definitely the dominant life-form, accompanied by their major invertebrate predators, the Sandsnails, which drill holes in them). I presume the Gulls' crops are strong enough to crush them, but I don't actually know if this is the case. There would also be worms, small crustaceans and the occasional small fish. Baby flounders and other little fish disturbed this way are usually pursued more actively, because they don't stay put when anything treads on them. Incidentally, humans often use the puddling technique with bare feet to find pipis and other bivalves to eat or use for bait. Fine as long as there are no heart-urchins buried in the sand. And do Silver Gulls ever drop potential food items onto hard ground, as Pacific Gulls do with mussels?
Anthea Fleming
in Ivanhoe, Vic.


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