Subject: Re: Gulls eat puffins Date: May 4 18:47:29 1995 From: "T. Anne Sukova" - tgrr at u.washington.edu
Hello. I have been most amused about the questioning of whether or not gulls, specifically black-backed gulls, have the capability of eating a whole Puffin. I am taking a comparitve animal behavior class at the University of Washington and every Thursday we get to watch these wonderful films narrated by David Attenburough from a series called, Trials of Life. Last month I was most astonished while watching the film entitled Hunting and Escaping when they showed these adorable little Puffins, and I don't remember where, but suddenly these gulls came swooping down and started attacking them. The footage is incredibly graqhic and I distinctly recall one scene in which a gull manages to engulf an entire Puffin in one bite! The feet, however, were still hanging out of its mouth and when it took off anothe gull grabbed a foot and yanked the whole thing out of its mouth and flew off. I was amazed that a gull could fit a whole Puffin in its mouth. I'm pretty sure he said they were black-backed gulls. So, if you want to see this amazing feat for yourself, I understand this series of films is available in most video stores.
As a side note, most of the films I have seen thus far have had some unbelievable scene with gulls attacking and eating other birds, ducks, terns, other gulls...etc. You get the point. After what I've seen, nothing would surprise me about gulls.