ATE VIDEO: Seagull eating a squirrel goes viral KossyDerrickBlog KossyDerrickEnt


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Friday, October 20, 2023

ATE VIDEO: Seagull eating a squirrel goes viral

Information reaching Kossyderrickent has it that Seagull eating a squirrel goes viral.

Large gulls, Rock added, regularly kill pigeons, targeting the weakest.

“What they will do is drive them down out of the air and push them into, say, a river … and then they drown them,” he said. “They pluck the feathers away and eat the rest.”

Gulls have even been known to eat their own. “Say for instance there is a road accident and a gull gets killed, there’s some food. However, that is a rare occurrence,” said Rock.

“They know everything that’s going on in the way of food,” he said, adding that their range may be 100km (60 miles) in any direction from where they are breeding.

“For instance, if there is silage making somewhere they know about it. They know when it is happening because they recognise the machinery and they will come down,” he said, noting that the birds feed on small animals including nesting birds and amphibians that have been chopped up.

“Gulls have gizzards, like many birds, and what they do is they eat furiously and quickly. And if there’s stuff in the way, they eat that as well,” Rock said, adding the material is separated in the gizzard. “All the good stuff goes down into the gut and the rest of it turns into a pellet which they cough up.”

Paul Graham, a professor of neuroethology at the University of Sussex, said that eating small creatures was normal behaviour for gulls, but the shift to urban areas may have had an impact.

Gulls may be best known for stealing people's fries at the beach, or tearing open garbage bins in search of a discarded sandwich — but Rock says they are the ultimate omnivores.

"Food, of course, is the key for everything and they know how to get it," he said. "For these birds, they know everything about everything within their home range. So if one food source dries up, they know exactly where to go for something else."

The clip, which was posted on a wildlife-focused TikTok account, captures the gull gobbling up a fluffy black squirrel in a snake-like fashion. Each time the bird gulps, the unwitting prey's hind legs and bushy tail disappear further down its gullet. 

"This is not barbaric behaviour. This is just the norm," Rock, an urban gull researcher from Bristol, England, told As It Happens host Nil Köksal.

"It's to be expected from seagulls that they are going to eat whatever is available. And if it happens to be some weakling animal, then they will kill it and they will eat it."

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