As you may recall, Claudia & Charlie Gull have built a nest on board the ship right in the middle of one of the big cannons on the deck. What a couple of show offs! At this point we do not know the number of eggs in the nest, but we do know that the two of them are getting very ‘testy’ and ‘cranky’ about people and other birds hanging around.
I can tell you from my MANY years of experience that the mother gull gets very defensive and that behavior increases dramatically as the hatch gets closer. I have seen cases where the mother attacks other birds when they get too near the nest.
When I just visited I stayed away and perched on one of the smaller cannons to take a look at the nest. The crew members have put up some yellow tape and an orange cone to keep people away from the nest. That was a smart move!
The usual pals of Charlie & Claudia are hanging around the restaurants and mooching food from the tourists. If they are smart, not necessarily a given, they will avoid the nest and not risk getting pecked. Life goes on.
Editor’s Note: It is not uncommon for the parents protecting the nest to become very defensive and that behavior increases as the time gets nearer to the hatch. From our calculations the eggs may hatch in mid-June and the nesting pair has demonstrated some very aggressive behavior toward the crew and visitors to the ship.
We wish the happy couple the very best and hope that the hatch is successful so we can watch the chicks grow up. From what we know, after they hatch the chicks will stay in the nest for about 6-7 weeks before spreading their wings and starting to fly. It could be a very interesting time before they leave the nest. If you would like to visit the birds and see the nest please come to the SS Jeremiah O’Brien to pay your respects to the expectant couple.