Whale Burps up Sea Gulls: Sadly They Don’t Survive the Ride

by Carolyn Sotka


Dead seagulls floating. Photograph posted on Facebook by James Mead Maya.

Last week, over 30 dead seagulls were sighted by James Mead Maya while he was captaining his boat at sea. Perplexed as to what happened to the seagulls, he reached out to a fellow captain who was nearby. That captain recalled having seen a humpback whale come up through a school of herring to feed and the seagulls, who were also feeding on the herring and became the whale’s ‘bycatch’.

After the humpback’s huge gulp that allows it capture and filter a large amount of prey, the whale went down for about five minutes. When the whale resurfaced, it proceeded to burp up/expel the dead gulls, thus the picture of the sighting above.

The tone of the Facebook comments for this post are somewhat incredulous. So few people had actually seen this happen, despite the common, shared occurrence between sea birds and other animals. Regardless, the mystery was solved, and unfortunately the gulls were on the losing end of the stick. –CS

And then, on a sadder note, about 30 dead sea gulls. And how did they die, you ask? I got a call from another boat with…

Posted by James Mead Maya on Monday, October 19, 2015

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