Politics and Gulls

    I spent some time taking photographs along the “Scioto Mile” in downtown Columbus. For the last 15 minutes there, I watched a flock of gulls illustrate the same point about politics that is often described as “a hamster on a wheel“.
    There is a row of four light stands, each with three orbs on top. I watched as, again and again different gulls would fly at the bird currently occupying one specific orb on the first (left-most) light stand- and most often chase that bird off. The unseated gull would then fly to the next lamp post and attack or scare off whichever gull was currently on the orb in the same position as the one he just left. Then that gull would go to the next post and chase away the current occupant of the orb in that same position who would go to the fourth and last lamp pole and repeat the sequence.
    As you can see from the photographs below, the orbs in the other two positions on each pole might be occupied or empty- but each gull would insist on taking over the specific orb position. Generally the bird driven off the last pole would fly away or resort to finding a spot not on any of the lamp posts. Every now and then the last-dumped would try to get on to the first light stand and pretty much always fail.
    About half a dozen times a gull that had been perched elsewhere (or just arrived) would tackle the occupant of the first light pole and the entire cycle would repeat. During the time I was there no bird that had successfully taken over the first lamp pole would fail to kick out occupants of other poles.
    It was amusing to watch; although it would have been more enjoyable without the drizzle. But as a successful gull would claim their spot on each orb for only a minute or two, I had to wonder why they spent so much energy fighting for that spot. They did not have time to clean their feathers and did not seem to be using the perches to spot food- they would look around and perhaps squawk a bit before moving on. How often are people doing the same thing?

Cycle of Gulls
Click to see bigger

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