Friday, 24 January 2014

Dancing for worms

I had blogged before on this curious gull behaviour, although that occasion I didn't manage to see the effects of the gull 'dance'. This morning, on the university ground, a Herring gull did the worm dance energetically, and very effectively on the wet grass. I watched as it captured four or five good size worms more or less in the same spot in a few minutes. Breakfast sorted!

UPDATE 6/08/17. I just found this interesting article by Niko Tinbergen in which he discusses the behaviour in gulls and other birds. He calls it 'foot paddling' and the behaviorr includes paddling in shallow water:
Tinbergen, N. (1962). Foot-paddling in gulls. British Birds, 55(3), 117-120. Here.

1 comment:

  1. My sister and I were observing this dancing just the other day in Grays Inn: 2 adult gulls and a juvenile , later joined by another adult (probably a good worm spot). I thought that's what they were doing - good to have it confirmed. Great to watch! Poor worms, 1st blackbirds, now this..