Subject: Re: Gull eats mole -> Mole kills gull -> Both die
Date: May 6 19:30:42 1995
From: Joe Morlan - jmorlan at

On Sat, 6 May 1995, Scott Ray wrote:

> A birder from California sent me a negative of an X-ray image of a gull that
> had attempted to eat a large mole. The X-ray shows a dead mole inside the
> chest cavity of a dead gull. Apparently the gull swallowed the live mole
> which then proceeded to dig its way up and out with its powerful claws,
> killing gull in the process. But alas, the mole must have asphixiated just
> before freeing itself. It appears to have died just before it was able to
> pierce the skin in the lower neck area.

This sounds identical to an incident which was documented many years ago
in "British Birds." The paper was entitled "Herring Gull Killed by Mole."
What species of gull was involved in the California case?

Joe Morlan
Albany, CA
jmorlan at