So what the heck is going on here? The whole scene certainly smelled like courtship. Please chime in if you have knowledge. Here is what we know:
When Herring Gulls court, the female enters the male’s territory and bows submissively (Check! She bowed several times, and this is certainly M. Diddy’s territory.) The male then makes several mew calls. (Check!) If the cock does not bite the hen in the neck and chase her off, then it’s game on (Check?)
Could this be Mac Mommy? Herring Gulls are generally known to mate for life. And since Mac Daddy is North Beach’s Oldest and Most Experienced Herring Gull, we can assume he’s been “mated for life” for quite some time. Should this post have titled “Mac Daddy Has An… Old Lady?”
The biggest problem with this whole scenario is that Herring Gulls on LBI mate in the spring. The egg takes a while to hatch, the chicks take a while to fledge, and then they stay at home for a few months. Last season, Mac Daddy’s Cheezitz did not show up on the beach until August, which means they were “made” back in the spring. You’d think it too late for LBI’s Herring Gulls to be makin’ babies with that kind of timeline.
Could Mac Daddy have lost his one true love this year, and he has yet to replace her so he is sadly playing the single’s game too late? Could Mac Daddy have been flirting? Cheating? Just being a goofball? Did Mac Daddy’s old lady show up on the beach and catch him goofing off, so he showed her the eel grass to prove he was “fixinz up da house and doingz errandz?”