So I was strolling down this back road in Liverpool. There was a lot of gull noise going on.
When I first got exiled from London and came to live with the criminal classes in Liverpool there were lots of gull noises all the time. For a few years these seemed to disappear. Very rare were the gull squawks. Then this year they seemed to return. Louder than before.
We seem to have two sizes of gulls. There’s a fairly standard slightly bigger than a pigeon type gull, which seems about as unintelligent as a pigeon. And then there are the ones we call the Huge Bastards.
The Huge Bastards are easily 6 to 8 times the size of the ‘normal’ gulls. As they fly their wingspan is huge. No joke, but if one was to accidentally fly into a human, the human would die. They are that big. And forceful.
Compared to ordinary gulls they seem to have intelligence and no fear. I have watched them hook the discarded bags out of the KFC bins, rip them apart to get to any french fries right inside that might be there, and then eat them. The stupider and smaller gulls don’t do this bin raiding, they just eat the bits the Huge Bastards leave behind.
The Huge Bastards are calculating and cool. They understand things and can involve themselves in complex tasks. There are videos of them popping into shops to steal packets of crisps.
But, it was a great surprise to me to see this Huge Bastard swoop down onto a young rat. A rat. It lifted the rat from its scurrying and took it into the air. It flew a bit further down the road and landed next to another Huge Bastard. It deliberately started swinging the rat to bash it against the wall. Then it dropped it to the ground and rapidly pecked at it before lifting it and holding it by it’s neck in its beak in a sort of trophy fashion. It was showing off to the other Huge Bastards. A large number had started to circle and were intent on relieving him of his prize. But the Huge Bastard hung on and ducked and dived to make sure it remained his.
Eventually he flew off with it and out of my view.
I managed to take a few photos but they aren’t too clear as they were on my phone zoomed in. The best, however, is with this article for you to see.
Hey, I didn’t know gulls ate rats. When did that start to happen?
More importantly, are they evolving to be a predator to humans? Are we all doomed to be gull food?
I think we should be told!