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.



Filed under Birds, Humor

6 responses to “Skyrats

  1. kat

    When we could buy small firecrackers various naughty people used to wrap up the little squibs in small amounts of bread and feed them to the seagulls. They would swallow them whole and then BANG! It is a very evil thing to do but my goodness, those skyrats (cute term) deserve it!

    At the very least it caused severe tummy the worst…hmmm!!!

  2. Les

    Looks a nice spot

  3. glorious

    At Cassie’s wedding a couple of weeks ago, the birds kept flying around probably looking for food. they were perched on a nearby rooftop keeping an eye on things. As it was a wedding and not a picnic there wasn’t any food around but we were all very afraid we’d be splashed. There were some close calls but no hits.

  4. When we got home from the beach and Grandma Shirley put the other half of Cory’s sandwhich on a plate for Cory to eat, he looked up at her in astonishment and cried out “you got my sandwhich back!!!” We all laughed, and then swallowed a collective eaw as it occured to us how gross that would be to have retrieved his sandwhich from the seagull’s throat, from which he spent a good 5-10 minutes just working on swallowing it down…

  5. This is probably why he has a broken looking wing… remember it’s the survival of the fittest.

    Sea Gulls can be very agressive. One time when we were at Hearst Castle I saw a Sea Gull go up to a man who was eating french fries and snatch up the whole cup of fries and fly off!

    Besides the Gulls that looks like a lovely place to picnic.

  6. this one looks fantastic !!! i love the seaside. wow what a nice photo

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