Gull Invasion

Spring comes to the lakefront in many forms, but none so noisily as the arrival of Ring-Billed Gulls. It’s an opportunity to teach the new crows a life lesson.

The juvenile crows thought they had everything figured out and the parks and the lakefront were theirs for the taking, but now these guys have arrived like gangsters.

This crow can't believe what's happening.

I had even gotten careless with these puny pieces of shelled peanuts: piled up, they were irresistible. The gulls descended upon them in less than a second.

It’s my theory that the gulls time their arrival for the festivals and parades, beginning with St. Patrick’s Day this weekend. The highlight of their visit will be the Taste of Chicago in July.

"How COULD you?"

A few peanuts won’t be missed, but the crows and I will have to be careful, especially when there’s hot dogs. The crows will learn to be silent instead of calling to each other when they see me, and they’ll stop following me around. Instead, they’ll meet stealthily at some predetermined location, their choice or mine: it doesn’t matter, we’ll put our heads together. Because if the crows attract any attention to me whatsoever, they’ll lose their monopoly over me. As it is, I hope the gulls have been distracted over the weekend, because they’ll remember me forever if they start associating me with food. And I gave up starting riots a long time ago.

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