I went for a walk just before sunset today: a perfect spring evening, blue sky with a few clouds moving in, scent of lilacs in the air, the trees covered with new leaves.
Partway across the bridge to Pope’s Island there was a juvenile gull on the sidewalk. I thought it must be freshly dead because its eyes had been picked out yet; but then it moved its head slightly when I walked past it. Juvenile gulls are hard to identify, but I’d guess this was a first-year Greater Black-backed Gull.
It was still there when I walked back home. Again, it barely moved its head, cringing slightly, when I walked past. It must be in poor health if it sits on the edge of a sidewalk along a well-traveled four-lane road, and doesn’t even get up to walk away when a human approaches it. They say eighty percent of gulls die within a year of being born, and I’d say that gull was right on track for being part of that eighty percent.