Jan 12, 2012

Update on mew gull

Yesterday, Duane and Rebecca traveled to San Francisco to see if they could capture the gull. They met two additional WildRescue responders, Julie and Susan, and an officer with San Francisco  The bird was spotted approaching a woman who was feeding the pigeons. It appeared interested in food, but quickly flew off before rescuers could get there with nets.

After canvassing the area for hours, the gull was sighted again, this time he was on a large wooden platform among other guls. He appeared weak, keeping its head tucked in its feathers, resting.

The Stow Lake Boathouse operators were very helpful, allowing the team to use their boats to access the platform.

With two responders applying pressure from the opposite side of the platform, Duane readied the the air-powered net-gun in case the bird walked within range. He was nearly close enough, when the flock took off and headed for the other side of the lake.

Using the row boats, the team followed, hoping the bird would land in the water, not on the gnarled trees limbs, where the nets would be impossible to use.

Luckily, it landed in the water. Duane was able to launch the net, which spread out and over the bird, but it was just shy - a few inches farther and the bird would have been caught.

The gull flew to the small island, where it remained out of reach until sunset.

Loaded for gull.
This morning, one of our lead responders in the Bay Area, Patrick, left home early and rendezvoused with three additional responders to attempt a rescue. While searching for the gull they happened upon an ill goose with an old keel injury. They scooped it up and it was transferred to Peninsula Humane Society for treatment.

In the meantime, Patrick, Julie, Marissa and Loretta continued the hunt for the gull. It was spotted near the island again, maneuvering behind the protective branches of an old pine. At one point, when the other gulls flew off, it approached the boat, showing some interest in food. 


Unfortunately, the gull never approached close enough for it to be captured by rescuers. Days went by with no reported sightings. We feared the worst.

Sunday afternoon, after teaching class, Rebecca and Duane scoured Stow Lake, inspecting each mew gull in the area. Nothing.

On their drive home, they received the message - a friend and long-time supporter of WildRescue had spotted the gull at Stow Lake. She reported the bird was able to open its mouth and eat a small piece of bread. This is great news!!!

We will keep you updated as this rescue unfolds.

Sightings should be reported immediately to 415-979-9700.

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