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Re: Laughing Gull Attacked
- To: "Nathan M. Bacheler" <email@example.com>
- Subject: Re: Laughing Gull Attacked
- From: Ric Carter <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Tue, 3 Jun 2003 18:13:14 -0400
- Cc: email@example.com,salinda daley <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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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
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.
On Tuesday, June 3, 2003, at 07:52 AM, Nathan M. Bacheler wrote:
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
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.
Morehead City, NC