Wednesday, August 07, 2002

The Seagull

I have spent the past couple of weeks watching the seagull chick on the roof of the building opposite and as it got older I was looking forward to watching it make it first attempts a flying. Well, it isn't going to happen now. Apparently at some point yesterday one of the adult seagulls attacked one of the hospital's car park attendants wounding his arm, so this morning a couple of men went onto the roof and removed the chick. Not in a carry cage so that it would be allowed to finish growing up and see the world - no, it was wrapped up in a blue plastic bin liner. The assumption is that one of the men strangled the chick. I was so angry and upset at this. Of course, the people from the other building keep saying "well it was a nuisance" and "what about the poor man it injured?". I have had to walk across the adult gull's territory several times each day - to get lunch, to get work from my boss and so on - and I have only been swooped on once.

The adult gull had a pattern to her behaviour, first she would give warning cries, then she would give a couple of high level swoops that didn't necessitate you to duck, if you didn't get out of the way she would try to shit on you, after that she would make several lower passes that you still didn't need to duck from and if you were still in a position she thought was threatening to the chick she would make the really low passes that you did need to duck from. A couple of times I saw it get worse than that, but in each case the person being attacked was moving back towards the nest and usually waving something at the bird and were basically winding it up. So in terms of this wounded car park attendant, I want to know What was he doing to the gull?

Of course, now we do not have just one seagull defending a nest, we have three or four other angry seagulls who are attacking everything in sight and no real reason to stop, when if the chick had been left alone the single adult would have started to chill in about 10 days or so when the youngster fledged.

If we show so little humanity to something as helpless as a chick, then what hope is there that we will be able to show humanity to other humans?

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