Sunday, September 23, 2012

Sick Great Black-backed Gulls

 Yesterday, two beautiful cruise ships brightened up our harbor on a beautiful sunny day.  I darted out to the Southside Road to get a better look at the vessels. While there, I saw a very unpleasant sight.  This Great Black-backed Gull was floating on its back. Every now and then, its head would sink below the water line, and it would muster enough strength to shake his head and raise it up again.  This bird wasn't going to last long. I wondered what could have caused this.
I walked around the dock to look for a good angle to photograph the ships. It was then I came upon two more distressed Great Black-backed Gulls.  I had nearly walked right over them as I was looking elsewhere. They  flopped around a bit, and the movement caught my attention.
They, too, were incapacitated. What was going on? Their eyes looked bright, but they didn't have the strength to even stand up, let alone fly.
I couldn't see any oil on either of the birds, and there were no apparent injuries.Were there more birds in the same condition?
Clearly, these birds are not going to survive as they are unable to feed themselves. This is very unusual, curious and very sad.

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