Sad gulls; happy finches

My poor, unruly gulls have suffered yet another setback in their efforts to inflict more gulls upon the world: horrible kids. I saw them, last night, a pair of them, creeping about on the roof. Stamping on nests. Mocking! “Not today, birdie,” I heard one of them shout, as the larger gull wheeled overhead, shrieking. Most unfortunate. I wonder if the kid would still have stamped on the eggs if he’d known what an understatement “not today” was? I mean, those gulls nested on the same roof, last year, and failed to hatch a single egg. First, building management cleared their nests away. So they hid them better — cleverly enough to avoid the workmen, but not the crows. And this year, why, this year’s been an endless parade of crow predation! Sure, the crows deserve a delicious snack; that, one understands. Human beings tramping on nests for fun, though, that’s just nasty. Shame on them. I wish I knew their parents, so I could turn them in.

Things are, however, looking much brighter on the finch and pigeon fronts. Freshly-fledged finches have been showing up at the feeder, and I saw my first juvenile pigeon, over the weekend. (You can tell you’re looking at a young pigeon when its beak looks ridiculously long, and extra-bumpy. Pigeons keep their wee ones in the nest longer than most birds — a couple of months, if I’m not mistaken — so they’re more or less fully cooked, by the time you get them on your balcony. But the beaks still give them away.)

I didn’t get a picture of the little pigeon: he or she is very shy, and flaps off at the slightest disturbance. Thus, I admire from a distance, and in silence. But I got several finch shots, to be going on with:

A juvenile finch occupies the feeder, while an adult looks on.  While he appears to be giving me a disapproving look, I'm not sure he could see me, at all.  I was hiding under a large hood, so I could take pictures without spoiling the birds' dinner.

A juvenile finch occupies the feeder, while an adult looks on. While he appears to be giving me a disapproving look, I’m not sure he could see me, at all. I was hiding under a large hood, so I could take pictures without spoiling the birds’ dinner.

The feeder is occupied, so this finch is grubbling about in the dirt.

The feeder is occupied, so this finch is grubbling about in the dirt.

The little finch begs for food.  I had hoped for a better shot of this, but a great bumptious SPARROW flew in and landed right between them, interrupting the feeding.

The little finch begs for food. I had hoped for a better shot of this, but a great bumptious SPARROW flew in and landed right between them, interrupting the feeding.

And these are sparrows.

And these are sparrows.

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