Posted by: atowhee | August 10, 2011


We humans have tinkered and altered the environment so completely that there are frequent outbreaks of imbalance among native species.  The Brown-headed Cowbird, once confined to the buffalo-friendly plains, are now parasitizing nests across the continent.  They simply followed our cattle ranching.  Nobody needs an explanation of how Starlings conquered America faster than the U.S. Cavalry put American Indians into reservations.  And now, California Gulls are stronger than the California economy.  In a previous era more Peregrine, Short-eared Owls, coyote, river otters, sea otters and other marsh-friendly predators would have curtailed the California Gull population.  But the voracious sea otter was exterminated from San Francisco Bay by fur trappers in the 19th Century.  The river otter is also a good predator who will use ocean coastline.  They are pr0lific in the San Juan Islands but the The Bay Area’s urban development limits their ability to thrive as well.  In short, we humans have created Gull Nirvana.

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