Save a duck, get rid of Black Back Gulls!!

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Save a duck, get rid of Black Back Gulls!!

Postby JoeP » Thu Feb 23, 2006 1:02 pm

Hey guys, something happened today that made me worried. I went for
a ride this morning. I pulled up to the marsh and enjoyed my coffee. I noticed that there was a black duck that was all by itself. I watched the duck for a while and I believe that it was one that may of been wingshot during the hunting season and couldn't fly because others came in for a visit and when they flew off this one remained.

Then it happened. A large male Black Back Gull flew in and started having a go at the black duck. It started off at picking at the duck then was pulling the duck from the back of its head. Feathers started to fly at this point. The gull even went to holding the ducks head under water! This went on for a while and then the duck was dead. The gull then ripped out the breast meat in the bird. I couldn't believe it. :pissed:

Well living on the coast we have many of these black back gulls. I mean they are everywhere you look. Now if these things just killed an adult bird right in front me imagine what they do to the young. They must raid so many nest in the spring taking out how many young, 100's,1000's...?
who knows. We have a few islands and land around here that are protected areas and they hold many species of birds and they use this land for nesting. The only thing is, is that there are many of these gulls that are there as well. This is a protected area and these gulls may be killing many birds.

When I got home I did some research on these gulls. These are one mean
species. They are not even supposed to be around here. They came here
when we had large open dump sites with garbage all over the place. Now that the dumps are gone they are still here and there is more than ever.
Is there anything that can be done to control these gulls? I know what your thinking :yes: but maybe this can be brought up someplace and a group can take the gulls nest out in the spring ? Any input? Who knows how many ducks could be saved.

JoeP :salude:
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Postby Dogman » Fri Feb 24, 2006 9:43 am

Those gulls got federal protection somehow Joe,why is anyones guess.
I read a report a couple years ago that said that nesting Eiders lost almost 95% of thier eggs and chicks to gulls on the islands that were under observation!
We are allowed to shoot crows and they are a major predator of game and songbirds alike.Too bad they haven't lifted the protection on gulls,would be a great way to balance out the ecosystem and allow ducks,geese and shorebirds populations to expand.
The gulls have definately benifited from human activity way beyond what the enviroment can sustain without damaging other less agressive species.
My lab is still the best hunting partner there is.
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Postby JoeP » Fri Feb 24, 2006 10:34 am

Hey dogman, Is there something we can do as a group (waterfowl hunters) to do something about the number of gulls? I have done some
reading and there are articles on the net that do talk about how the gulls raid nest of waterfowl. 95% of the eggs and chicks were lost ?!!?? :eek:

Why havent other groups stepped up to the plate yet with these killers?
I know that groups have gone out and lowered the population of comorants because they were doing a number on the fish population.
So if that happened why not do something about the gulls? It just doesn't make sense to me, something can be done and it hasnt happened yet.

Kinda makes me scratch my head to see DU and Delta do so much to improve hunting,wildlife, and duck populations and we have a killer right here in our back yard that is ruining all that hard work that these organizations, and volunteers are doing :umm:

Imagine doing some of this work transforming and improving wetlands,
reintroducing some native plants to improve on feed and habitat. Finally after all that hard work is done you get what you did this for- a pair of blacks put together a nest and is sitting on eggs! Then a big black back gull comes over and in 5 seconds takes out the entire nest. :pissed:

JoeP
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Postby Dogman » Fri Feb 24, 2006 2:49 pm

I very much doubt that the fed,state or local goverments would embrace the idea of a season on gulls.Unlikely they'd let us shoot any of them.
The only thing that would be allowed that I can think of is spraying gull eggs with cooking oil,prevents the egg from hatching.If it is done every nesting season it could reduce local gull numbers after a few years.Not as easy or quick as blasting them over a pile of garbage.

A few years back,early 90's maybe,the tern population on a small Cape Cod island was seriously in danger from gulls raiding thier nests.The feds sent in a crew to poison as many gulls as possible.All the animal rights nuts came out of the woodwork to challenge the the action and got court orders to stop it.They finally got out there with shotguns and blasted as many as they could but it took a lot of effort to get it done.This was done to help out a threatened bird species.I can only imagine the hysteria that would follow if the state announced that a season on gull was enacted to help out ducks and geese.Not that I think that should prevent it from happening but the politicians aren't going to step into that by allowing a season.
My lab is still the best hunting partner there is.
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Postby JoeP » Fri Feb 24, 2006 4:30 pm

I see what you are saying, it would start a war. It is just a shame because the gulls are not native to these parts, and they are killing the young of native species. Now that these gulls have been brought to my attention, I see them all over the place. They seem to even out number the herring gulls.

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