Date: 9/19/19 12:26 pm
From: Range Bayer <range.bayer...>
Subject: [obol] Cockles Attached to Feet of Gulls near the Hatfield Marine Science Center (Lincoln Co.)
Hi,

Chuck Philo has noticed a cockle attached to the foot of five different
gulls (mostly California Gulls) since July 30. He has also photographed
several of these gulls, and, with his permission, one of his photos of a
gull flying with a cockle on its foot on Aug. 16 is attached. He has seen
all of the gulls that had a clam on their foot at the mudflats (Idaho
Flats) east of the shelter at the OSU Hatfield Marine Science Center Trail.

He thought others would be interested and wondered if anyone has any
comments?

-----------------------------------------------------------

I didn't seen any gulls with clams on their feet when I studied Western and
Western X Glaucous-winged Gulls and crows finding, flying up, and dropping
clams to break and eat them at Yaquina Estuary for my 1984 report (
https://www.westernfieldornithologists.org/archive/V15/15(1)%20p0035-p0036.pdf).
I don't recall seeing a gull with a clam on its foot since then, but maybe
I missed seeing them.

Elsewhere, gulls flying up and dropping clams to break them happens
regularly and has often been reported. But in my quick Internet search I
only found one report of a gull with a clam on its foot. The report
included photos (
https://exit63.wordpress.com/2015/10/28/the-lesser-known-dangers-of-eating-live-shellfish/),
and a comment by Mary Lenahan states: "Oftentimes the clam won’t come off
before causing damage to the foot. I’ve seen several footless gulls and
several more that had a large portion of their foot inside the clam. I feel
bad for this bird!"

Happy birding!

Range Bayer, Newport, Oregon

 
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