Seagulls eat starfish! This is a well documented fact on the internet. But, until yesterday, I had only seen seagulls eat bread, french fries, pizza and fried chicken. I once saw a seagull try to swallow half a bagel whole. I thought the gull was nuts. Turns out seagulls commonly swallow things whole. They swallow starfish whole (great pictures of a seagull swallowing a starfish in Vancouver’s Stanley Park; impressive video of a seagull swallowing a starfish). They also swallow cellphones and other plastic objects (Is there anything a gull won’t swallow?). These enormous objects go into their crop for later digestion (What is a bird’s crop?). I assume plastic objects usually get regurgitated (based on plastic objects link).
I didn’t know the gull in the photograph had a starfish in its beak until I zoomed in on the bird on my monitor at home. There was a Great Blue Heron on a rock west of where I was standing when I photographed the starfish carrying gull. As I slowly approached the heron, I occasionally looked back to see what a group of seagulls on the beach was up to and took a few blurry photographs of flying seagulls. I noticed one of the seagulls on the beach had a huge bulge in its throat. Tumor? I thought at the time. In retrospect, it was probably the starfish. The afternoon light was fading fast, so I decided to ignore the bird with the large, lopsided throat and continue approaching the heron. It is possible that the fuzzy white head in the picture below is Lumpy.
Seaside fun was had yesterday at CRAB Park (CRAB stands for Create a Real Available Beach). There is a quintessential grassy area, two small beaches (for walking, not swimming), a small variety of seabirds, many crows and a pretty good view of the enormous, bright-orange Port of Vancouver cranes moving shipping containers.