[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Laughing Gull Attacked

We've seen lots of one-legged gulls around the Pamlico River, and snappers offer as good an explanation as any.

The turtles may be just as happy with a menu of gull foot as a full gull.

Also, our experience with pet cooters a few years old indicates turtles are pretty reflexive in their food choice. People fingers and other turtle toes are as apt to be grabbed as offered food. I expect they grab anything near the right size that moves near their mouth.

Ric Carter

On Tuesday, June 3, 2003, at 07:52 AM, Nathan M. Bacheler wrote:

Hello everyone-

Yesterday, as I drove by a small retaining pond near my workplace in Morehead City, NC, I noticed a Laughing Gull flapping its wings violently on the surface of the water. I assumed that it had a broken wing, and pulled over in hopes of bringing it to an animal shelter. Upon closer inspection, however, both of its wings seemed to be fine. It looked as if one of its legs was caught by something in the water. Maybe it caught itself on a fishing hook, perhaps? Then I saw something attached to its left leg.

It was a snapping turtle.

The turtle was approx 10" long, and was holding the bird's leg just below its body. My question is this: I realize a large snapping turtle could make a quick meal out of a duckling or similarly small-sized bird, but could a relatively small turtle such as the one I observed really kill a full-sized adult laughing gull. It seemed like the bird would be too difficult to drown, and as soon as the turtle let go of the birds leg (which, admittedly, could be hours), the bird could easily escape if it wasn't completely tired out. Does anyone have any similar stories, or know more about snapping turtle predation upon birds?

I took a couple of pictures, but then let nature take its course. I saw no laughing gull carcass the next morning. If you would like to see a couple of the images, let me know - I can email them to you.

Nate Bacheler
Morehead City, NC