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Gregarious Gulls

My wife commented on yesterday’s blog entry which, in her opinion, was all a bit gloomy. She is probably right; it was all a bit of the glass is half empty. In the interest of balance and harmony in the world and in my family, let me put out some positive information before the new year gets too old. Today, let’s have the glass half full.

How about seagulls? Although some people seem to rather dislike seagulls, it is at times said that the souls of drowned sailors and fishermen may become seagulls, and that therefore these birds should never be killed. I have no evidence, for instance, that gulls are being eaten, here in Mallorca.

Let’s give the gregarious gull some praise today, or gavinas (Catalan) as they are known in Mallorca (Castilian: gaviotas). According to the experts there are eleven species of seagulls to be found on our shores (Larus melanocephalus or Mediterranean Gull, Larus minutus or Little Gull, Larus ridibundus or Black-headed Gull, Larus genei or Slender-billed Gull, Larus audouinii or Audouin’s Gull, Larus canus or Common Gull, Larus fuscus or Lesser Black-backed Gull, Larus argentatus or European Herring Gull, Larus michahellis or Yellow-legged Gull, Larus marinus or Great Black-backed Gull, and Rissa tridactyla, also known as the Kittiwake). Of these, the most commonly found species here in Mallorca are the Yellow-legged Gull, the Black-headed Gull and the Audouin’s Gull. The gulls in the photo may be of the Larus melanocephalus variety but, I do not know enough of it to be too sure.

The photo was taken in Palma de Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: January 1st, 2011. The time was 14:30:29.

6 replies »

  1. I agree with your wife. After yesterdays blog I was considering whether I wanted to see anymore! It’s mnot that I am not realistic, but there is enough doom and gloom around without it greeting me on my iPad every morning.
    My favourite blogs are those which tell me something aspect of Mallorca which I didn’t know,such as the history of a building or fiesta, or what’s happening or even what a meddlar fruit is!
    Doom and gloom I can get from any newspaper.

    • Oops.
      Sorry, Ana, I meant no offense. On the whole my blog is uplifting, wouldn’t you say?
      Please, keep coming back.
      Klaus

  2. It may well be that gulls are not eaten in Mallorca because they are considered inedible! Back in the distant past when I earned my living as a seafarer they were incorrectly called “Mother Carey’s Chickens” by some of my shipmates. Mother Carey was (according to the myth) a character who ran a seaman’s boarding house in Bristol and was reputed to serve her boarders with seagull and call it chicken. In fact, the name was one that had been given to the Storm Petrel and had nothing to do with boarding house landladies. Mother Carey is a corruption of Mater Cara, one of the names of Maria, the mother of Christ and it seems it was Spanish sailors who gave the name to the gulls.
    Incidentally, the recipe for cooking seagull says it should be divested of its feathers and placed in a pot of water with an old sea-boot. It should then be boiled for as long as it takes to soften the leather in the boot. At that point, the gull should be thrown out and the boot eaten!
    A happy and prosperous New Year to you and yours. Keep on with the Blog – I look forward to reading it each day.
    Jim

    • Hi Jim,
      thank you very much for your fascinating comments. Thanks also for your New Year wishes. The same to you, and thanks for coming back so devotedly.
      Klaus

  3. Lovely photos as usual. I so enjoy your web-site. I have been living in Mallorca for nearly four years now and am a fairly serious birdwatcher. The gulls in the photo are Larus ridibundus, Black-headed gulls. You can tell this by the black primaries, (all-white on Med gull). Birds are so hard to photograph well but there are a few locals who are pretty good at it! I have found the local birders to be very helpful and friendly and have got to know them quite well.

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