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The Crow and the Gull

What's that crafty bird up to?

Crows and gulls are opportunists - grabbing a bite wherever, whenever, however they can. Listener Nick Woodiwiss of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, wrote to BirdNote about a funny scene between an American Crow and a Glaucous-winged Gull on the beach. Can you guess who won?

The gull seen here is a Ring-billed Gull. It seems that crows and gulls are frequent adversaries!

Full Transcript



The Crow and the Gull –
A Listener’s Story

Adapted by Ellen Blackstone

This is BirdNote!

[Sounds of Glaucous-winged Gulls and crows]

Listener Nick Woodiwiss of Vancouver Island, British Columbia tells this amusing story: [waves at the edge of the beach]

“I walk nearly every day, along the beach and on the forest trails. One time last fall when the tide was low, a group of gulls and crows were on the beach, mooching about, looking for what had been washed up. I saw an immature gull feeding on a dead crab. Evidently a crow saw it, too.

“As I watched, the crow hopped up behind the gull. As crows do, it turned its head to one side in an "Hmmm, what have you got there?" type of look. Then, the crow reached out with its beak, pulled on one of the gull's tail-feathers, and immediately hopped backwards. The gull turned around to see what had touched it. The crow looked away, all innocent.   [light waves lapping]

The gull went back to the crab shell, and the whole scene was repeated. But this time when the gull turned around, the crow was quite a way behind and to the side of him. The crow was making a big fuss — digging in the sand for some hidden treasure.  The gull became intrigued by what the crow was after and moved over to have a look. In a flash, the crow hopped up and grabbed the crab shell!” [Bill clapping of American Crow]

Very crafty, these crows!  [Caw caw]

Thanks, Nick! Great story. And for BirdNote, I’m Mary McCann.


Call of the birds provided by The Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Glaucous-winged Gull recorded by A.A.Allen; American Crow recorded by G.A. Keller.
Bill clattering of American Crow by Martyn Stewart,
Ambient waves by C. Peterson
BirdNote’s theme music was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson
© 2015 Tune In to     August 2016     Narrator: Mary McCann

ID# AMCR-gull-01-2010-08-31           AMCR-gull-01

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