The Herring Gull … A Story of Determination

Earlier this month when I took my quick trip around the state I had stopped at Fort Desoto in St Petersburg.  I had found a nice little flock of Gulls and Terns and had sat down in the sand to watch and photograph them.  There were mostly Laughing Gulls and Royal Terns with a few Forsters and Sandwich Terns thrown in.

Shortly after sitting down I noticed a larger Gull fly in and for the next half hour a very stubborn Herring Gull kept me very entertained and this is his story.

Right after he flew in he noticed a really large clam shell that was not opened up and he seemed to think this would make for a fine breakfast.

Wow ... How lucky to find this beautiful clam ... now how do I get in!

Wow … How lucky to find this beautiful clam … now how do I get in!

He pecked at it for a short time with no success at all so he decided to use his head and find another way of opening it.

He picks up the massive shell and starts to fly off with his prize.

He picks up the massive shell and starts to fly off with his prize.

He finally manges to get airbourne with it!

He finally manges to get airborne with it!

He gains some altitude and from about 30 feet up!

He gains some altitude and from about 30 feet up!

Drops his prize with the hopes that it will break open.

Drops his prize with the hopes that it will break open.

For the next half an hour I watched him try at least a half-dozen times to crack open his breakfast … only one problem … he kept dropping it on the soft sand.

He's looking at me here wonderfing what he's doing wrong!

He’s looking at me here wondering what he’s doing wrong!

I was starting to feel really bad for him as he was expending a huge amount of effort on what I knew was going to be an unsuccessful adventure.  I’m not sure if he ever did crack it open but he did fly off with it and hopefully he found a parking lot to help him get his well deserved breakfast.

I’ve heard of Gulls performing this behaviour before but to actually witness it was fantastic.

Thank you so much for visiting and I hope everyone has a fantastic day and has a chance to get outdoors and experience some of God’s wonders!

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About sheriffsmith

I have worked for the Broward County Sheriff's Office the last 13 years and spend most of my free time birdwatching / naturewatching and photographing the birds and nature that I encounter. I believe God has blessed us with a world that is so absolutely fascinating and wonderful and I'm doing my best to discover and show others all that he has provided us with in nature.
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7 Responses to The Herring Gull … A Story of Determination

  1. Vicki says:

    we live near the ocean, and at low tide I see these gulls dropping clam shells on the rocks.. always are successful in breaking them open. this fellow, being wise enough to take it with him, no doubt found a nice hard surface and enjoyed the fruit of his labor.

  2. dinajohnston says:

    That’s pretty cool. I’ve never seen a bird do that before. Great catch!

  3. Grndma Chris says:

    What a great opportunity to see nature in action. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  4. Smith,
    Loved your photos and your narrative made this post special.

  5. Young gulls have to practice this trick – at first they make mistakes like not dropping it from high enough, or dropping it where they can’t find it, or dropping it but then swooping in to catch it before it hits the ground. But your guy looks old enough to know what he’s doing, so he has no excuse!

  6. Enjoyed your story and shots Tom!

  7. CK says:

    Cute and funny bird but nice reading and nice photoes.

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