Saturday, June 10, 2006

Quite Still Please!

During a quick walk round the block yesterday, I photographed this pair of Pacific Gulls. The image rather reminded me of those Victorian studio portraits of married couples, with one sitting in the chair and the other standing dutifully alongside. Perhaps the analogy isn't so far from the truth. Many of the local Southern Tasmanian headlands and beaches sport a pair of Pacific Gulls, who take up a sort of Winter territory. They don't seem to be bothered by the Kelp Gulls, but another adult Pacific entering the area can expect to be challenged. This is usually a 'sizing up' of one another, presumably by the males, which includes walking around each other on 'tiptoe', but can end in more aggressive behaviour if that doesn't work. At least they seem to behave with more decorum than the similar sized Kelp Gulls! A touching pair!
I've added this image to show part of the 'sizing up' of passing PGs. These 2 birds approached, making low guttural sounds, walked round one another holding themselves upright, until one bird backed down, then they continued on their way. It was all over in a minute and no contact was made.
Of course, this is only my interpretation of what's going on!

1 comment:

John Tongue said...

I hadn't really noticed this behaviour before. I have seen Pacifics get aggressive with each other, but hadn't kept watching t catch the whoel routine. I'll have to be more observatn next time.