[CT Birds] post about strange seagull behavior

kmueller at ntplx.net kmueller at ntplx.net
Sat Aug 31 21:07:29 EDT 2013

Hi Dave and Mary, That is certainly unusual. I have watched Gulls do  
this in the wet sand along the edge of the water searching for Mole  
Crabs and Sand Shrimp. It usually starts with tamping its feet in one  
place while the water is washing the loosened sand away....like "gold  
panning". When the Mole Crab is exposed it will grab it and repeat the  
process. This was the first time I have seen a Gull do this in dry  
sand using its bill in a sweeping motion while its bill is open to  
grasp a prey item. It reminds me of a Roseate Spoonbill feeding  
motion. It is obviously a food searching behavior, but what food item  
would be tough to guess. I will have to watch your video a few more  
times and try and figure it out.

Thanks for posting the video.


Keith Mueller

Quoting mcahlgren <mcahlgren at cox.net>:

> We are disappointed that no one took our post seriously about the  
> Pemaquid Beach, ME, strange gull behavior. We have been birding for  
> years and never seen a gull so elaborately and compulsively poking  
> into the sand without any related feeding. Mary M. suggested sand  
> worms but this was not that kind of habitat.
> Dave and Mary
> Glastonbury
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