Subject: Re: Gulls eat birds
Date: May 4 13:25:44 1995
From: Stuart MacKay - stuart.mackay at

Jon Anderson wrote:

> I've not *seen* gulls eat puffins or auklets, but I have seen
> them swallow whole a 2/3-plus-grown common murre chick that
> washed up alive on the beach as the males lead the chicks
> northward from the colonies (August or Sept?). There's no
> doubt in my mind that, with a little effort, a large gull
> could swallow a puffin...

I don't have a suitable guide handy, so I'm not sure whether Puffins over
here are smaller than in the Atlantic. A rough estimate is that Atlantic
Puffins are 2/3 size of a Common Murre and therefore would present
considerable problems for a Great Black-backed Gull to swallow WHOLE - in
pieces (even large ones :-) no problem.

I'm sure someone with a handy reference for the morphometrics of Atlantic
Puffin and GBBG will be able supply the dimensions.....

Stuart MacKay