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June 2005


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"LaBARR, Mark" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Vermont Birds <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 17 Jun 2005 08:48:56 -0400
text/plain (86 lines)
If you think gulls are aggressive try landing on a tern island. Yesterday we forgot our hardhats on Popasquash Island and with a number of new chicks present my assistant and I were hit repeatedly (she 6 times, me twice, she provides cover while I band chicks) by a very aggessive parent. The bird drew blood on a number of occasions aiming for the hole in the back of our hats. Very accurate. They also like to drop an occasional guano bomb on the low part of their dive. I hear they really like bald spots.

By the way...terns are doing well this year with about 190 pairs and a good number of chicks surviving so far. Should be another good year.


Mark LaBarr
Conservation Biologist
Audubon Vermont
255 Sherman Hollow Road
Huntington, VT 05462
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-----Original Message-----
From: Vermont Birds [mailto:[log in to unmask]]On Behalf Of Bonita
Sent: Wednesday, June 15, 2005 9:05 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [VTBIRD] Standoff in Battery Park

Great story, Steve. Just the thing after a long day at work!
Bonnie Dundas

----- Original Message -----
From: "Steve Antell" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Wednesday, June 15, 2005 3:35 PM
Subject: [VTBIRD] Standoff in Battery Park

>I have been an avid reader of VTBIRD messages and appreciate everyone's
>fascination and joy in all things avian.  Indeed, I have had many memorable
>experiences myself over the years and especially enjoy this time of year.
>There is, however, a darker, mostly unspoken side to the world of birds,
>and I think it only prudent and fair to warn others of the dangers lurking
>out there.
> Actually, thoughts of atlassing and bird song were not even on my mind
> last Friday as I ordered fries and a hamburger from the bus at Battery
> Park.  I was hungry and looking forward to a quiet break from my all day
> conference.  I sat on a picnic table and contentedly began eating my
> admittedly less than gourmet lunch.  Just as I was ready to take yet
> another bite out of my hamburger, I was rudely thwacked on the back of my
> head.  In the split second that it took to begin processing the assault,
> the burger was knocked from my hand, landing on the ground several feet
> away.  A ring-billed gull landed nearby, squawking loudly in an attempt to
> intimidate me further and was quickly joined by several co-conspirators,
> all carrying on loudly.  In the excitement of the moment, I managed to
> spill my fries all over the picnic table.  I instantly decided that there
> was no way I was going to allow such churlish behavior to pay off.  But it
> also occurred to me that the hamburger might have only been a diversion
> and that if I went after it, the fries would quickly become history.  I
> resorted to several feinting moves toward the burger while quickly
> scooping the fries back into the container.  Fries safely back in the box,
> I then gathered up the no longer particularly appetizing hamburger (to me,
> at least) and buried it in a nearby trash container, taking perverse
> pleasure in knowing the gulls would realize it was there but that they
> were not going to be able to get to it.  I scurried out of the park,
> nervously eating the rest of my fries while frequently looking over my
> shoulder, lamenting that I really had not had enough lunch to hold me.
> Could a similar traumatic event have been Hitchcock's inspiration?
> Steve Antell
> Shelburne