This post is rated R for images that some people may find disturbing.
There was a cluster of gulls near shore this morning. They occasionally pecked and flapped their wings at each other, but they were mostly quiet. They seemed to have a system of some kind for taking turns. At the center of the cluster, a gull had undisturbed possession of the carcass of another bird, probably a Mallard. The gull tore and ripped and fed for a while, and then pulled away, and another gull took a turn. This was very different from the wild feeding frenzy I’d observed on other occasions when there was a school of little fish near the surface. At one point, a Brown Pelican paddled over to take a look. The gulls took to the air briefly. However, the carcass didn’t interest the Pelican, and it flew off. A Pelagic Cormorant also came over and had a look, but left without participating. I was impressed by the gulls’ relative civility and order in this feeding opportunity.