Monday, May 7, 2012
Sea Monsters: Fowl Meal
Evidently, at least according to this article at Bird Fellow where birdwatchers of the Pacific Northwest meet on the web, a lady named Ginger Morneau was out for a stroll at the Ogden Point Breakwater. The Breakwater, which I can state from experience is lovely, is located on the Pacific coast of Victoria, British Columbia. It is a haven for all types of wildlife and many bird watchers and sea creature enthusiasts congregate there to take pictures and videos of the abundant fauna.
Ms. Morneau was strolling the Breakwater on a nice day in late March when she noticed a gull with its head underwater, furiously flapping its ample wings. At first glance, it appeared that the bird was feeding on something just under the waves. A second look, however, told a different tale.
An octopus could be seen below the gull anchoring itself to nearby rocks while pulling the bird under with one massive tentacle. Ms. Morneau snapped a number of pictures and shared her unusual documentation with Bird Fellow. According to her, the entire struggle took no more than a minute. Once the octopus had successfully drown the gull, it pulled the bird bodily underwater and one assumes ate it.
Evidently this behavior is not as atypical as we might think. Both animals are predatory toward one another. Some days the gull eats the octopus, some days it’s the other way around. Ms. Morneau just happened to get evidence of the latter.
Curiously, at least to my mind, the Bird Fellow article notes:
Ginger described the battle as “primal” and although she wanted to rescue the gull, it wouldn’t have been possible…
I can’t quite wrap my head around why she wanted to rescue the gull. Nature isn’t sweet and an octopus, just like every living thing, needs sustenance. Everyone perceives things differently, of course, but I say good on you octopus. A gull’s a fine meal, if you can get it.
Header: Octopus vs. seagull, photo by Ginger Morneau via Bird Fellow