[Tweeters] Dipper vs gulls at hatchery

Rob Sandelin floriferous at msn.com
Tue Nov 8 17:12:20 PST 2005

Today was egg taking day at the Wallace River Hatchery and my students were
docents for some school groups. While waiting for a tour to start I watched
gulls eating the many spilled eggs at the egg of the salmon trap area. They
flew in once the kids had vacated the area. About a dozen or so suddenly
took flight with some sudden calls. The cause of their disturbance was a
lone dipper who had suddenly popped up almost beneath their feet. To my
suprise, the gulls did not challenge this much smaller bird, but landed on
the roof of the hatchery building with much commenting. The dipper scarfed
up eggs for a couple minutes, then perhaps full, flew off downstream. I had
to go deal with something and a few minutes later returned to find the gulls
feeding again. How odd that my little favorite seemed to own the food
resource against such bigger and usually aggresive birds. Or maybe, like
students, the gulls decided to behave while the teacher was watching.

Rob Sandelin
Naturalist, Writer
The Environmental Science School


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