Nice beak, loser!

The wee gulls are growing more independent, by the day, though I’m not seeing much sign of intelligence, in either one. Loudenstein’s been trying to whistle them up to my balcony, to enjoy the feeder, but they don’t understand. He shrieks; they peep back. He squeals; they peep some more. He runs up and down the railing, flapping his wings; they cock their heads at him, and run around in circles. He stamps his feet; they flap off over the water. I say “That’s fine, Loudenstein; more food for you.” Loudenstein doesn’t understand. I wonder if my voice annoys him as much as his annoys me….

These gulls are not being affectionate, rubbing their beaks together.  Rather, the young gull is trying to trigger a regurgitation reflex, by poking the red spot on its father's beak, so it can get a free meal.  Charming, eh?

These gulls are not being affectionate, rubbing their beaks together. Rather, the young gull is trying to trigger a regurgitation reflex, by poking the red spot on its father’s beak, so it can get a free meal. Charming, eh?

I call this the “buh” face, when gulls point their beaks straight at me. They look so dim, so gormless, I almost expect to see a question mark materialise over their heads, like on a cartoon. The effect is even more pronounced, when they cock their heads to one side.

Buh:

Gulls always look extra-stupid, from this angle.  I think it's the positioning of their eyes:  it makes them look cross-eyed, and eternally perplexed.

Gulls always look extra-stupid, from this angle. I think it’s the positioning of their eyes: it makes them look cross-eyed, and eternally perplexed.

And a sparrow, because who doesn’t love a good sparrow?

This sparrow looks like it's listening for something....  Maybe it is.  Soon, the house sparrows will go away, for the winter.  I'll miss their chirpy song, but my birdseed costs will be cut nearly in half.

This sparrow looks like it’s listening for something…. Maybe it is. Soon, the house sparrows will go away, for the winter. I’ll miss their chirpy song, but my birdseed costs will be cut nearly in half.

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