Sunday, January 11, 2009

Philosophical question, sort of...

Why is it that I can take photos of a squashed crab I find on the beach, or of the innards of a dead nudibranch or a skeletonised fish without a qualm, but when I come across a freshly-dead seagull, I feel that I am invading its privacy by pointing the camera in its direction?

Not that that stopped me for more than a couple of seconds. Here is the seagull:

It was clean and bright, with no smell, no other signs of deterioration. Nor of injury, although I didn't flip it over to be sure.

But it was so beautiful, even in death, that I had to zoom in for a close-up or two.

The underside of the wing, with raindrops.

And the beak, showing the red spot. Which has its own black spot. Interesting curves and angles. And a stylish nostril.

And the breast feathers, seen up close, were eye-blinding white, much too bright for the camera, brighter even than they seem when I see gulls in flight. Only the eye, that challenging, curious, proud seagull eye, was dulled and sad.

I keep wondering, now, what killed it? And left it high and dry at the edge of the park?


  1. Hard to say what it was killed by, though botulism is always a possibility, as are exposure and starvation during the winter months.

    Interesting how much of a hook there is at the end of its beak, something you mostly just associate with raptors, or maybe also the shrike, but obviously would come in handy when dissecting large clams or crabs or carcasses.

  2. I guess we all have our time and can't pick why or how. It gives you hope that there can be serenity in death when it comes. - Margy

  3. Definitely a sad scene. RIP.

    But I wonder how long will it take for some predator to come and take it. Perhaps a hawk?

  4. Seabrooke,

    I was surprised by the hook, too.

  5. Well that was a Lovely goodbye to a beautiful gull...celebrating the beauty that was...


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