Gulls hanging out along White Rock beach tend to be laidback and almost dismissive of the hominoids invading their territory. Even with a camera stuck three feet away from his beak all I got was a haughty stare back. Neither I or the shutter noise phased him in the least. Different behaviour from his uptown cousins who shriek and squawk at any violation of their twelve foot personal space. Of course, they eke out an existence on garbage while the beach brethren dine on a tasty seafood diet. Like the real estate people say: location, location, location. Guess the oceanfront crowd has been born to the manor.
Back to my friend. I often wondered why some birds stand around on one leg, as I also noticed the same habit with the blue herons living around the corner at Blackie’s Spit. A while back, I did some research which never conclusively answered my question. Some suggested they pulled up the leg to keep it warm due to lack of feathers or covering. Never occurred to me to think about blood vessels and flesh exposed to the cold weather, since their appendages just look like attached sticks. Must have been absent for a biology class explaining avian anatomy. If it was the middle of winter, I might have been satisfied with the answer, but on a warm day in March or during the heat of the summer, it hardly makes sense. Reason number two proffered online was to rest the legs. Not sure how shifting from leg to leg helps. I tried it and not only doesn’t it help, my legs tired out even quicker.
Then it dawned on me. I happened along in the middle of a yoga class. Here was my feathered friend – we actually have never been introduced – performing a classic beginner’s pose: vrikshasana or the tree pose. Told you these guys were laid back. Perhaps one day I’ll invite him for an after class latte or mocha and we can hang out telling each other sea tales.