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Thread: “Specialists” at work - Laughing Gull stealing Black Skimmer egg

  1. #1
    Member mbb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Houston, Texas

    Default “Specialists” at work - Laughing Gull stealing Black Skimmer egg

    First a few words of explanation. Most Laughing Gulls are opportunistic feeders. But few can become ‘specialists’ (term used in scientific literature), for example individuals who are feeding during nesting season on eggs and chicks of some other colonial birds and as well pirating food brought to the nests by the adults. This video is showing one very smart LAGU specialist at work - after picking up the target (alone female on the nest located on the edge of colony - at the center skimmer nests were more dense and neighbors would almost certainly attract the intruder right after landing) LAGU kept walking around the incubating skimmer, stopping from time to time and watching. Notice that gull was watching both female and surroundings as well - male could showed up any time. LAGU grasped a few times skimmers wing and gentle pulled (shown only in still photos as at that moment I switched cameras). Finally, probably after seeing the egg under the skimmer, gull quickly grabbed the egg and walked away with it. To shorten the playtime this video is only showing a few selected clips. This is a first video from a series that will show serious problem the Black Skimmers colony faced this year (Rockport, Texas, US) - gull predation and piracy reduced skimmer reproduction success to very low level.

    Hope you will find it interesting,


  2. #2
    Senior Member AndyB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005


    interesting video

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