Sunday, September 27, 2009

Motherhood as a Weight Loss Program

By this time of year, the baby seagull chicks that were hatched earlier in the spring (somewhere? Where do seagulls build nests?) are no longer babies. They are full-sized gulls. But they still have their juvenile gray plumage. And their juvenile ways. They still follow mama gull around, begging for food with a high-pitched mewing cry that surely is as annoying to her as it is to me.

This poor gull spent an afternoon trying to ditch her two offspring, zooming from one perch to the next. The mewing never stopped - as mama flew around, they were right behind her, mewing away. At each perch, the two Baby Hueys would land and immediately assume the "begging-for-food" pose (body held low, head and neck extended up), mewing frantically. When that failed to work, both babies literally tried to take the food from her mouth, stabbing at her face with their beaks, trying to pry open her mouth. She protected herself by turning away.

Eventually, the "motherhood" wiring did kick in tho, and she regurgitated a load for them - right onto this poor guy's bimini. I don't know how this bird is managing, having to feed herself and two other adult-sized birds. She did look trim and svelte tho. Eating for three, and staying trim. Hmmm...

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