These two Glaucous-winged Gulls have started their breeding season and are mating now over the next couple of days. They are calm and friendly right now, but as soon as they are incubating their eggs and their chicks start to hatch, they will turn into highly aggressive birds. It is crucial for them to be aggressive, since Bald Eagles, Peregrine Falcons and North American River Otters will predate their nests.
Staying cool under Daddy’s wing
Mandarte Island is a fabulous place to watch this amazing seabird colony. The Glaucous-winged Gulls and three different species of Cormorants are currently nesting and fostering their chicks on this tiny rock in the middle of the ocean. However, the Glaucous-winged Gulls and the Cormorants are going through a rough time right now, since a lot of Bald Eagles are predating their colonies at the moment. Therefore, it is always amazing to see that some of the chicks survive really well due to the great care of their parents. This chick was resting under its Daddy’s body during the warm tempertures of the day. The parents are usually highly aggressive towards us (We are researchers on the Song Sparrow population and we have to move around those guys quite a lot), but if you keep distance and sit down for a while, you can see how lovingly and beautiful the interactions between the adults and their chicks are.