I love how the sea gulls make their nests all along the edge of the bluffs, which are high up above the waves. When the chicks hatch, the first thing they see, hear & smell is the sea. Shore birds learning from their first breath how to live their lives by-the-sea.
Often the parents & sea gull chicks all sit together looking out at the ocean. Is the parent teaching her chick how to “read” the sea to know where the fish are? While the little sea gulls are losing their downy feathers & their flight feathers are growing in, are they watching the adult gulls flying & learning where the updrafts are before they take their first flight?
Both the male & females raise their chicks together. They must protect their chicks from predators and sometimes even from other gulls if their nest is too close to another sea gull’s nest. They bring their chicks tasty morsels of fish & the chicks clamor for more, more. Already the chicks bird song by-the-sea is “Peep, peep, peep, peep, peep” & the parents cannot keep up with their appetites. They feed their chicks & then turn their heads away. I can almost hear the parent saying “That’s enough, find something else to do.”
The parents chatter, cackle & laugh to each other. Gull laughter always makes me smile even though I don’t know what the joke is.
The sun sparkles like crystals on the ocean. The little sea gull chicks with the polka-dotted heads all sit in a row with their parent looking out to sea. Are they watching for whales & dolphins, too? Or are they just taking a moment to enjoy the sea because they love their lives by-the-sea just like I do.
NATURE & BOTANICAL ART JOURNAL 2014