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deletedOct 11, 2023Liked by Bryan Pfeiffer
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Or perhaps the gull itself might hold an answer? There is something about gulls ... isn't there?

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Oct 11, 2023Liked by Bryan Pfeiffer

"... owls that prey on small mammals regurgitate (once a day or so) a turd-like pellet of fir and bones." Hmm.

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Oct 11, 2023·edited Oct 11, 2023Author

Ha! Yeah, those would be the conifer-eating owls! 😀 (I'm so damned good at typos.) Corrected! Thanks!

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Oct 11, 2023Liked by Bryan Pfeiffer

Yes, but how long can I sit in the fog? How long will the fog, in which I sit, remain foggy? What do I do with all the brilliant, even if foggy, realizations I've had after things clear, presuming they do? Your piece brings forth so many interesting thoughts this morning, and it isn't really even that foggy here.

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Classic John Snell -- a doer, a thinker, eager to transcend the fog. 😀 Thanks, John!

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Oct 11, 2023Liked by Bryan Pfeiffer

You know you have fans when we enjoy reading about gull barf! Only the very curious among us would take advantage of this learning opportunity and care to investigate such regurgitations and droppings to see what was on the menu of our feathered and furred friends. Never having dissected a gull, I can't help but wonder what their digestive track/organs look like. Bullet proof Teflon?

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Or maybe stainless steel! Oh, the things I've seen gulls do — and eat. I'll cover that in my gull presentation! As always, thanks again for your wisdom, Kim.

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Oct 11, 2023Liked by Bryan Pfeiffer

Sitting on a rock with fog obscuring distant details, musing upon and observing a gull, all things I believe I share with you, Bryan, but your writing is another order of things: sublime, graceful, factual and knowledgable but never pompous, highly enjoyable. I'm with you, following your thought-wanderings and savoring them all. Thanks, good friend. By the way, I would have investigated that "plop" as well.

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Oct 11, 2023·edited Oct 11, 2023Author

So very kind of you, my dear "mplea." 😀 Next year (if not sooner) we'll investigate together!

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Oct 11, 2023Liked by Bryan Pfeiffer

Love this! Great writing and thoughts :).

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Thanks, Ben! (Oh, when shall we walk?)

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It's sort of interesting that they can swallow sharp crustacean shells and regurgitate them without damage, though I've seen gulls dropping crabs onto rock, presumably to break up the bite a bit. (A risky strategy in that gulls also love stealing from one another.)

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Yeah, the dropping of bivalves in particular is interesting. I also recall reading of a gull (Herring Gull, I believe) floating bits of bread on the water's surface as bait so that it could snap up fish surfacing to nibble on it.

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Oct 11, 2023Liked by Bryan Pfeiffer

When Covid first hit and we were homeschooling our grandson here in the winter of 2020/21 we did lots of hikes in the woods and found many owl pellets, which we brought home and dissected. I have photos.

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Probably Barred Owl, right Steve? And probably lots of mice (Peromyscus)!

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Both true.

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This was fun - and informative too. none of that "oh look at the pretty bird" stuff. Thanks.

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I thought about including all the brutal things I've seen gulls do. Maybe I'll include that in the lecture. They really are audacious birds, but can also be so elegant in flight. Thanks, Richard!

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Oct 11, 2023Liked by Bryan Pfeiffer

I once watched a willet barf up a couple of small pellets consisting of mostly sand.

Sue Wetmore

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Data! Love it!

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Oct 11, 2023Liked by Bryan Pfeiffer

Love your gull thoughts. I was on the shore of the Arabian Sea in south India in January 2023, and noticed - NO GULLS. Any thoughts on why not?

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Thanks, Nancy. Well, I don't know much about gull distribution and abundance on the south India shoreline in January. I do know there are probably three or four species to be found there then, but perhaps not in high numbers. Gulls that time of year can indeed be local and sparse. One option for you would be to investigate eBird.org, the most amazing crowd-sourced dataset on the whereabouts of birds. It should help!

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Oct 12, 2023Liked by Bryan Pfeiffer

Right, I haven't checked eBird...good idea! It seemed so strange to spend a few days on that coast and see not a single gull. Must be a reason...

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Gulls can certainly (and normally) be hit or miss along coastlines.

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Aww Jonathan Seagull... I was actually a late bloomer to that book, my partner just got it for me a couple years ago. It stands the test of time, it's still wonderful!

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I might have to read it again! (Got my issue of Seven Senses today! What a gift! Stay tuned for some gratitude 🙏💜.)

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Fabulous title, fun and insightful writing, thank you so much for making me laugh while learning something new :-)

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Thanks, Jiling. Gulls are good for fun and insight! 😀

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This was riveting. Thanks!

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Oh, the things gulls do -- lots more to come!

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Oct 12, 2023Liked by Bryan Pfeiffer

The vision of the author bent contemplatively over the “pile of (gull) puke” will stay with me, for good or ill. Thank you for that, I think. Sitting this morning over my pleasant coffee, with cool sunshine playing over the redbud tree and the last of the Blue Wood Asters, I was out of ideas for how to fix the churning world. (A few years ago, I at least had theories.) I need some coastal fog to clear my head.

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I've had some theories myself as well, Diane. But I suspect we'll both need more time in the fog. Hope to see you there!

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This is just wonderful. You always bring to life and color your attention to the small things that deserve our attention. This was fascinating, and how neat that you were able to photograph what the gull left behind. Thank you for sharing, as always.

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Very kind of you, Ben. You've made my day. Thanks!

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