[CT Birds] Flight isn't always a gift

David Provencher davidprovencher at sbcglobal.net
Wed Oct 20 20:56:36 EDT 2010

Today while walking outside at work at Millstone, I discovered a dead adult
Herring Gull in a grassy area. There was a light pole nearby and I could see
that the bird's neck was oddly twisted. The natural supposition was that the
bird hit the pole and broke its neck. Being curious, I examined the corpse.
What I discovered was that the bill was entirely buried in the ground and
was vertical to the plane of the surface. The only way for this to happen
was for the bird to have flown at high speed straight down. In all other
respects the bird looked to be a healthy adult, with the notable exception
of being dead, which is unhealthy by definition. I can only surmise that the
bird was in evasive flight and lost awareness of the proximity of the
ground. I have seen this before but only with quite young gulls being chased
by adult gulls. It may be that one of the resident Peregrines was after this
bird or a nearby bird and the gull succumbed to its own panic. Just another
example of how fascinating the world can be.




Dave Provencher

Naturally New England


More information about the CTBirds mailing list