Thursday, June 29, 2006

Meet Mr Squawky!

Back home in Cardiff, the newest member of the storm petrel research team is a baby gull named Squawky. He/she is a lesser black-backed or herring gull chick (not quite sure which yet) who fell off a school roof in Cardiff and was taken to a local vets. Rob happened to be at the vets and offered a home for the gull while it grows its wing and tail feathers enough to be able to fly. Rob's daughter Nia initially named him Flappy (he flaps his wings a lot) and then Squawky (he squawks a lot) .

He has taken up temporary residence at the Cardiff University aviaries, where his role in our project is to eat different species of fish and then poo a lot. By collecting Squawky's poo, we can test the method of prey DNA extraction from seabird faeces before we use the method on our precious storm petrel faeces samples!

Squawky takes a bath, wathched by Nia Thomas

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