The yellow-legged gulls nest on the grass and their speckled eggs are well camouflaged. Some of the eggs have already started to hatch, one week earlier than last year. There are already several years of ongoing research on these birds, during which the gulls born in the zoo are fitted with large orange leg bands, visible from afar. Photographing them reveals the number on the band. As a result, last week, on the western shore of Cyprus, one of our seagulls, born in 2013, was spied.

At present, the nesting period, the gulls are highly aggressive and catch, kill and eat adult little egrets, cattle egrets and even pigeons. This is the reason for the many carcasses we find on the grass each day. It’s not the only reason, however: it seems that in cattle egrets and little egrets the siblings in the nest struggle for dominance, and the two largest nestlings throw out the younger and smaller ones.

Not only seagulls nest on the grass. A pair of spur-winged plovers can be seen there too (although in the last few days one of the parents and the only observed nestling seem to have disappeared. Perhaps the gulls killed them too...).

The geese nest on the grass as well. In one of the grey goose nests an alien egg was found (indicated by an arrow in the bottom picture), but we’re not sure whose: perhaps a peahen’s.

Due to the vast nesting activity on the lawn cutting the grass is carried out very carefully. Why do we cut the grass at all? And why now? We do so in order to avoid the spread of silverleaf nightshade, an invasive plant.

A grey goose nest with an alien egg 

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