Saturday, October 31, 2009

This Halloween Moment Courtesy of "Cooter," the Great Black-backed Gull

If you're squeamish, you'd better not read this . . .

[Great Black-backed Gulls are strong and capable predators. This sequence happened yesterday in front of the hawk watch platform at Cape May Point State Park, to the amazed horror of the onlookers. "Dive, Dive!" we kept telling the American Coot, but the water was too shallow and the gull too strong and persistent. Photos by Don Freiday, click to enlarge.]

[The coot fought back with its feet. . .]

[. . .to no avail.]

Great Black-backed Gulls at Cape May Point State Park have made a habit of attacking the coots each fall. It seems likely most of the predation is from a single gull, nicknamed various things including "Cooter," that has made coots a specialty.

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