Some days ago I discovered that I lost some of my archived images from the period 2005-2007, the first years with digital cameras.
Even the “strongest” predators, armed with powerful venom and fast moves can pass thought delicate times. That’s the case of the molting period, during which some of these animals must change their external skeleton (called exoskeleton) in order to grow.
Welcome to the (city) jungle one would sing by witnessing such behavior of a yellow-legged gull (Larus michaellis) preying and eating a feral pigeon (Columba livia).
We’re used to see raptors or peregrine falcons preying even inside big cities, but there are many reports of gulls eating other smaller birds and it’s not an uncommon sight indeed. I still remember a great black-backed gull (Larus marinus) in Isle of May (Scotland) preying on a guillemot chick some years ago.
Even the behavior shown in the images below, photographed in front of my home in Genoa (Italy), happened at least two more times in front of my eyes before I was able to get my camera in time to get some shots.
Luckily enough, a friend coming here for work was able to witness the predation going on and called me in time to take some shots from my window, then down in the street, before the “raptor gull” decided to fly away in a calmer spot to end its feast.
The first images are shot while it was trying to unsuccessfully swallow the gull from behind, with the prey’s wings stopping the process and forcing the gull to spit it out again (while I was running down the stairs on hyper-speed mode with my camera).
The high number of feral pigeons living on the walls around my home is a true feasting ground for the highly dominant and opportunist gulls that sometimes prefer fresh meat instead of trash bins remains or dead fish.
I was in Borneo for macro “things”, for frogs, snakes, ants and plants… but I must admit that some monkeys really captured my soul at least for a few moments. Visiting Labuk Bay (in search of mudskippers mainly) I couldn’t avoid to go visit the Proboscis monkey (Nasalis larvatus) sanctuary, where also Silver Langur (Trachypithecus cristatus) occurs.
During my last trips to Peru, Borneo and South Africa I had the chance to witness some nice examples of convergent evolution. This is the case of three different species of snake, that share the same nocturnal arboreal habits although they normally prey on different species.
A small update about my recent trip to Borneo. It has been a great trip, with many new stories to tell you soon here or in magazine around the world.
One of the most fascinating forms of life I’ve encountered in Borneo until now is the weaver ants (Oecophylla smaragdina).
Patience is vital in the Bornean low land forest, and this land tiger leech (Haemadipsa picta) is a champion of waiting. But when it comes to “feel” the passing person, they’re the best ones.
You know, I normally like the wide-angle macro techniques to have both my subject and its habitat in the same frame.