Yesterday I took a quick boat ride over to Cockenoe Island in Westport, CT to check out the Common Tern colony. While observing the begging chicks being fed by adults, a small ruckus broke out at the north end of the sand spit. Out from the colony flew an adult Herring Gull with something in its bill. As I had suspected/feared, it was a tern chick. The gull downed the whole chick as effortlessly as Joey Chestnut throws down a hot dog.
I grabbed a shot of the incident from a distance.
Herring Gull with tern chick by the head as adult helplessly tries to intervene
moments later, life goes on in the center of the small colony
It's not easy being a tern chick on Cockenoe Island!