silver gull

To: <>
Subject: silver gull
Date: Sun, 12 Feb 2006 23:42:21 -0000


My apologies for the length of this email but I hope it will be of interest to you.  For no apparent reason, I began to read a book last week titled 'The Psychic Power of Animals' which was written in the '70s and seems to have lain untouched on my shelf for just as long.  While I'm open-minded, I draw the line at stories of animals which predict the future but I do believe that animals have a heightened sense of awareness compared to us and are far more intelligent than we give them credit for.  They are definitely hypersensitive in many ways which science may not have realised or discovered yet, though to some extent it may be more a case of our own senses having been dulled over time (and through working in an office!).

I was at the beach on the weekend with my girlfriend Rebecka.  We decided to leave early on Sunday, something we don't usually do, and were having a snack by the water in Batemans Bay prior to heading home.  I noticed a young gull struggling in the water but it floated out of vision below where a picnicking couple were seated.  Then it reappeared a minute later, drifting towards us, and I realised that the 30 or 40 other gulls flying noisily around were not after food but were actually circling the stricken bird and crying as if signalling its plight to us humans.  Bec and I climbed down the rocks to the water's edge as the gull came nearer.  I was about to take my shoes off to enter the water when the gull, still pulling with its bill at something around its left foot, slowly floated right into my hands.  I picked it up and we saw that it was double-hooked on a lure - one hook had passed through the webbing of its left foot and the other end was lodged in the underside of its bill.  I held it and kept its bill shut while Bec struggled to unhook it.  It took a while but eventually we freed its foot but the hook in the bill was tougher as the hook was barbed and the wound was deep and bleeding.  The gull remained quite calm while I held it, only occasionally flapping its wings and trying a few times to peck Bec.  We couldn't release the barb and were deciding what to do next - while some people completely ignored what was going on but a few others watched - when it somehow just popped out by itself.  I released the young gull and all was well.  I've been wondering since whether it and the other gulls had known that I could and would help it and that it had propelled itself to the first couple but they had taken no interest so it had sought out other humans.  Is this fanciful, was it all just a coincidence or are birds capable of such reasoning?  Were the gulls exhibiting a form of interspecies communication? 

It reminds me of a story my parents told me years ago.  They were standing in their backyard grieving after having heard the news that my mother's mother had passed away.  A magpie-lark ambled up and actually walked straight into my father's hand.  Had it sensed their grief and was it "passing on its condolences"?  This had never happened before or since and seems unlikely to have been a coincidence.

This may open a can of worms but that's what the fisherman should have done in the first place rather than using a fish-shaped lure and none of this would have happened!

Maurits Zwankhuizen


Visit for British foreign policy news and travel advice; and - the essential guide to the UK.

Data Protection Act 1998

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office processes personal data as notified to the Information Commissioner
( the purpose of working for the UK's interests in a safe,
just and prosperous world.  Such personal data may be shared with other UK Government Departments and
Public Authorities.

Please note that all messages sent and received by members of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and its
missions overseas may be monitored centrally.  This is done to ensure the integrity of the system.


<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the Canberra Ornithologists Group mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the list contact David McDonald, list manager, phone (02) 6231 8904 or email . If you can not contact David McDonald e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU