Yesterday me and my friends Shirley, Candace, and little Cory had ourselves a picnic down at the harbor (you can see the little beach at the middle left of the photo). There’s a nice little area with shaded picnic tables, a kids’ beach, restrooms, outdoor shower – all the amenities. And one other thing we did not expect.
We spread our blankets on the grass as seagulls and pigeons wheeled about overhead. Shirley had made some mouthwatering turkey sandwiches and as we were unwrapping them, we noticed the stealthy landings and approaches of the skyrats (the abovementioned birds) creeping toward our blanket islands.
Cory was amused by the birds, and I suspect Candace had sympathy (sucker!) for some of the handicapped birds with broken-looking wings and stumps for feet where their toes used to be. So she began to throw little bits of sandwich to the birds. The skyrats got closer and closer… soon they were at the fringes of our blankets. Cory put his sandwich down for a moment and got up to give his mom a hug… and the biggest, most aggressive seagull with the broken-looking wing walked right up to Cory’s plate and grabbed the half sandwich – and proceeded to swallow it whole! It was the most amazing display of boldness in seagulls that I have ever seen.
But wait…there’s more! We had stowed some of our stuff under the patio-covered shade of a picnic bench. I made the mistake of taking out a Ziploc bag of crackers , then setting it on the table. I walked away, and next thing I knew, the same big gull had seized the entire bag and was thrashing it about on the ground trying to get to the crackers inside! At this point the crackers were unattractive to us as human food, so the birds got the crackers thrown at them too, which they promptly devoured.
Yes…I know feeding the wild birds only encourages them. And that their behavior today is a reflection of human interference. I prefer to think of it as human kindness.
But then again I’d rather not have a seagull in my plate.