Thursday, November 20, 2008

The seagull (FD but AE&D)

I've waited this long to post about this because I was waiting for my Mam to get a photo off her phone and on to the PC for me. It was a photo of the seagull in question. Unfortunately, she deleted the photo (possibly thinking she'd already given me a copy). So, I'll have to do the post without a photo. The photo isn't important to the post anyway... I just thought you'd all like to see it.


The hospital I go to for my eyes is right by the beach, so seagulls are seen and heard near the hospital on a regular basis. I've gone there since I was a new born baby, so I don't think about it.

Well... During my trip in to hospital in July, I was told about how the seagulls had been fed so often by patients of the hospital that they've learned when food time is and come to the windows just as it's being served. I did hear them at the windows, but never thought anything of it. I mean, I heard them there every other time I was at the hospital, so why would I?

When I went back in hospital in September I never really noticed whether they were there or not... I mean, that trip was quite stressful for me, and seagulls were the last thing on my mind.

But, when I went in again at the start of October, I had no choice but to notice the seagulls. Well, one of them at least. Why? Because this particular seagull showed up at the window to my room and proceeded to actually knock on the window with his/her beak about when food was being served... Scaring the life out of my Mam. LOL!

Every meal time it was back... Knocking on the window and staring at us with - as Mam put it - "It's beady, stary little eye." LOL! So I had my Mam take a photo of it (which I'd planned on posting on here when I was home).

My last trip in was the funniest with the seagull though.

We know it was the same seagull who came to the window and started knocking on it, because my Mam still had the photo on her phone at that point and compared the picture... It has a little red patch somewhere near it's beak that she used for comparison. So, either it's the same seagull, or the seagull has a twin.


It was stood there with it's beady eye on Mam, pleading with her to share her marmite breadsticks with it. And that's when it happened...

Mam said to the seagull, "Look at you over there... Staring at me with your beady little eye!"

And, just as the seagull opened it's mouth - possibly to squalk (or whatever it's called that they do) or possibly just hoping she'd throw it some food - someone said, "Hello."

Well... My Mam jumped so much I swear she left the floor! She also almost said something you really shouldn't be saying in a public place... Especially one where there are probably kids not too far away. She did recover herself in time to say, "Sugar," instead though. LOL!

Of course, it wasn't the seagull that had spoken, it was a nurse. She (the nurse) thought it was her coming in that had scared Mam so much, but I was pretty sure I knew differently. So, when the nurse was gone...

Me: You thought it was the seagull that spoke, didn't you?
Mam (trying not to laugh): No... I didn't
Me: Yes, you did. You always do that laugh when you're trying to hide something.
Mam: Well, it was staring at me... And it opened its mouth... And, I didn't know she was there.

She really thought the seagull said, "hello," to her. LOL!

She then decided to see if the seagull liked marmite. Turns out seagulls really do eat anything... They'll even fight over a marmite rice cake. LOL!

Mam: He likes it!
Me: Thought he probably would
Mam: He didn't wipe his chin
Me: Well, if it bothers you that much, wipe it for him
Mam: No way! I'm not doing that
Me: Well, maybe if you throw him a tissue he'll wipe it himself?
Mam: You think he will?
Me: Well, either that or he'll just eat the tissue

We were both quiet for a while, then...

Mam: How do you know it's a boy?
Me: I don't... But you seem sure it's a boy
Mam: No... I don't want to go close enough to look
Me: Sexing birds doesn't work the same as sexing dogs and cats... You can't just look underneath
Mam: Well, how do you tell if it's a boy seagull or a girl seagull then?
Me: I don't know... Ask it?
Mam: Are you a boy seagull or a girl seagull?
Seagull: Squalk!
Mam: It says it's name is Squalk
Me: But you asked it what it was, not who it was
Mam: I don't think it wants to answer
Me: Maybe it's too young to know?
Mam: No, it looks grown up
Me: Then maybe it just doesn't want us to know?
Mam: Maybe

Another pause.

Mam: There's more of them out there
Me: There would be
Mam: Awww... There's a baby one! Squalk, is that your baby?
Seagull: Squalkkkkk
Me: I think that meant yes
Mam: Wonder if Squalk is it's Mami or Dadi?
Me: Well, when you figure out whether he's a he or a she maybe you'll know the answer to that question.

She talked to the seagulls for a while longer, but it was just general babbling, so I wont bother posting it.



LadyStyx said...


I suspect sexing (finding out the sex of) the seagull's much like the sexing of chicks. Saw it done on Dirty Jobs....I doubt your Mam would like getting quite that close to it though since she wouldnt even wipe its little chin.

Intense Guy said...

Ah! A marvelous post!!

Herring gulls are really hard to tell the sexes of...they use this wild math to do it.

Using the culmen (CL) and tarsus (TL) lengths were the most discriminating factors
in classifying the sex of Herring Gulls (Wilk's lambda = 0.261, X 2 =
418.836, df = 2, P < 0.001).

The classification function is:
(CL X 0.853) + (TL X 0.736) = 101.843

Basically the Males have larger wings.

MarmiteToasty said...

Yep, just as I suspected..... daft as a brush the bloody pair of ya lmfao...


MarmiteToasty said...

where the hell did that 'c' come from lol....


Punkn said...

*wipes laughing tears from my eyes*
Great post Tori. Made my day!

Kati said...

LOL Glad your mom didn't lose her cool in front of the nurse. The mental image though is hilarious, and totally one I can imagine finding myself in.

ChicagoLady said...

As I've noticed from watching other various birds out my window, and reading about birds on another blog, it is hard to tell birds apart, they will generally all have the same markings. So whatever type of gull that was, they all probably have that red mark by the bill.

I believe gulls are also harder to sex because the females and males don't differ in plumage or feather colour like other birds do. I'd have to check my bird book to be sure though.

Very funny conversation the three of you had. Not including the nurse. I agree with Marmie, you're both daft!

Tori_z said...

I think you may be right about the fact she wouldn't get close enough. In fact, I'm certain of it. LOL!

Great... So it's simple then... All we have to do is, find the seagull in question, persuade it to stay still long enough to measure it, then persuade some others to (for comparison) and we'll know for sure. Hmmm... Alternatively, we could just do the easy thing and stick to our assumptions. LOL!

*Raises eyebrows* OK, we're daft... But, we aren't the only ones. ;) LOL!

Maybe I should put a "you don't have to be crazy to visit, but it helps" note up on my blog? LOL!

Glad you enjoyed the post. :)

Glad you enjoyed the post... And, LMAO @ "a situation I can imagine finding myself in" *Grins*

I was under the impression there were at least slight differences in the markings of seagulls... Slight differences in shading, and shape of the markings... Maybe I was wrong? I dunno. I'm not a bird expert. ;)

KAYLEE said...

love you :P

AliceKay said...

Too funny! LOL