Wednesday, December 25, 2013
Ring-billed Gulls picking berries from tree tops in Metairie
This morning on the 3900 block of David Drive in Metairie, I was astonished to see 2-3 Ring-billed Gulls swooping down to the crown of a Chinese Tallow tree and plucking berries from its top.
The tree was in a typical residential backyard, and was about 35 feet tall. It had a near-leafless top, though still substantial (orangish) foliage on its lower half. The area is relatively open- not a lot of mature trees.
I first saw one bird do it, an adult, and then it was joined by another Ring-billed- which I am pretty sure copied its behavior and also grabbed a berry. A third Ring-billed began circling but seemed not to actually forage. In all, about 6 berry-grabs were seen.
I do not remember seeing a gull (or any waterbird) pick fruit from a tree before.
For a copy of Birding Made Easy-New Orleans, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or look for it at area book stores. It is now available at
Uptown: Garden District Book Shop, Maple Street Book Shop, Octavia Books
French Quarter and Marigny: Peach Records, Fauborg Marigny Art Books Music, Librairie Book Shop, Beckham's Bookshop, Arcadian Books and Prints, the Crabnet
Mid City: City Park Botanical Garden, Community Book Center