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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

It Sucks Being A Seagull


It Sucks Being A Seagull
I’ve never read “Jonathon Livingston Seagull.” My understanding is it makes the life of a seagull seem glamorous, at least for Jonathon.

From an Amazon book description:

This is the story for people who follow their hearts and make their own rules…people who get special pleasure out of doing something well, even if only for themselves…people who know there’s more to this living than meets the eye: they’ll be right there with Jonathan, flying higher and faster than they ever dreamed.

I’m sure it is a nice book and a lovely allegory but I doubt the real life of a seagull is so nice.  My guess is that,

It sucks being a seagull.

I don’t know firsthand that it sucks being a seagull, but it does look like a tough life, and I saw something today that for me sealed the “It Sucks” deal.

At first blush it looks like a lovely life.  Flying and gliding…looks like fun.  Eating meals is not that difficult, they can hunt or scavenge, and thanks to people being pigs, scavenging is pretty easy.

Then I see those gulls fighting over whatever food they scavenge or hunt.  There seems to be no courtesy or protocol in the seagull world.  If you can fly faster and peck hard enough, you just get to steal from other gulls whenever you want, conversely if you are not the toughest bird in the flock you are “flocked.”

It sucks being a seagull.

At least it must be nice when they do get tired from all that flying and gliding and food fighting to simply land in the ocean to rest peacefully while floating along with the waves.

Except then I see videos of sharks and other large fish swimming up from below and the seagull's day is ruined by way of being swallowed whole. 

It sucks being a seagull.

As if fighting over every bit of food you ever find and worrying about being eaten whenever you take a rest is not enough, today I spotted a new reason why

It sucks being a seagull.

I was waiting outside the supermarket while Mrs. C made a quick exchange.  A flock of seagulls was feasting on scraps from the garbage cans or just flung on the ground.  One bird was making off with a plastic bag, I assumed full of a discarded lunch.  I watched to see if he had to battle over his booty, when the bag opened up like a small parachute making his flying and gliding a bit difficult.

Further watching determined the bag was not in his beak, or being held by his feet.  The bag somehow got wrapped around his tail.  He looked like the space shuttle coming in for a landing with the chute opening up, only he was not trying to land.

I think the anatomy of a seagull will make it difficult if not impossible for him to remove that bag and I very much doubt any other gull will help.  They do not seem to be very friendly, empathetic birds.  Unless this bird can somehow have a snag pull the bag off his tail feathers he is destined to spend the rest of his life trying to fly with a parachute slowing him down.  Worse yet, if he lands in the ocean, the bag may fill with water and he will be really screwed. It looks like fun flying and gliding, but for this bird in particular,

It sucks being a seagull.

13 comments:

  1. I'm only really a fan of seagulls at the beach watching them glide over the sea. Because we live (in a straight line) fairly close to the sea we get lots in the town and they are noisy and messy and occasionally quite aggressive but it's a shame when any wild life gets caught up in rubbish that's left lying around so I hope he somehow manages to get the bag off and fly free.

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  2. So you're saying even a free lunch can kill you? Sheesh, and that's where I was pinning all my hopes. :(

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  3. You know, I'm mostly okay with animals battling it out in nature, survival of the fittest and all that. But I hate it when animals suffer because of our own greedy, sloppy, lazy behavior. And plastic.

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  4. I would have loved to see that. I really would have. Perhaps you'll run into that seagull again. Birds are mean. All birds are mean.

    My Story Game that posted yesterday has your name. I tend to pick one of my blogging buddies to be the focus of my Story Game.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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  5. I am not really much of a seagull fan -- having been at the wrong end of some aggressive behaviour at the beach. However, it is not nice to think of one being 'screwed' by a plastic bag.

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  6. If I could pick an animal to trade places with, seagulls wouldn't be on my list of choices.

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  7. Gosh, I read Jonathan Livingston back in my pseudo-hippy days. I wonder if I'd like it now? Unfortunately, I was drawing Animal Farm parallels between sea gulls and humans when I read your post. My mind often works in mysterious ways.

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  8. I use to feed the seagulls at the beach in Fl and I was always amazed how human their traits were. There were the bullies, the greedy, the sneaky and sadly the timid and occasionally the handicapped. I'm sure your parachute gull joined that last group.

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  9. They can get very aggressive with people, too. Poor guy, though, i don't think any bird deserves that.

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  10. I never read the book, but I have the soundtrack to the movie. Neil Diamond...<3 <3 <3

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  11. How come nobody ever wrote "Jonathan Livingston Pigeon?" It must suck even more to be a pigeon.

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  12. so ironic! i just finished reading that book, given to me by a school librarian... jonathan preservers ... and no many seagulls care... sounds like humanity to me...

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