The Empty Nest

Well, the waiting is over for Charles and Claudia De Gull. As you may recall from previous messages, the De Gulls were sitting on a nest they built on top of one of the cannons on the old ship.  This was highly unusual because the ship is very busy and there were lots of people around almost every day.  The nest first appeared earlier this year and they sat there and sat there and SAT THERE for the longest time.

Charles and Claudia De Gull sitting on the nest built on top of the cannon

I went by the other day to see how it was going and much to my surprise the nest was gone and the cannon was all cleaned up.

The nesting site without the nest.

I snooped around and found the nest in a box down on the pier.  In all my years I had never seen one of the nests that had been moved. I guess Charles and Claudia will have to rebuild it next year, but I don’t know if they are going to return to the same spot.

There are lots of little gulls around screeching for food. As I recall they can fly a little bit after about four to six weeks after they hatch. This was a big year for new birds.

Two fledgling gulls camped out on the deck of the submarine Pampanito moored in front of the SS Jeremiah O’Brien

Editor’s Note:  The gulls built a nest on board the SS Jeremiah O’Brien in late May 2012 and sat there until August when they abandoned the nest after the egg failed to hatch.  The nest is very interesting in its construction.  The birds used small rocks, sticks, mud, string and countless other items in the construction.  There is no way to know why the egg failed to hatch, but the birds probably could tell that it was cold and that the hatch was not going to take place after such a long time. Typically the birds would try to return to the same spot next year.  The same pair will either return or pick a new nesting site. 

The nest in a box after being moved from the ship. Inspection of the materials reveals a wide variety of items.

Because of the crowds and the activity on the ship the birds will probably pick another spot for next year.  If you want to see the nesting site and visit the ship please come on board.  The SS Jeremiah O’Brien is open daily and we welcome visitors and provide self guided tours all day every day. 

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