Feeding Silver Gulls
brian fleming <>
Fri, 13 Oct 2006 20:32:38 +1000
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?
in Ivanhoe, Vic.
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