On my way to the Civic Center BART this morning, I caught sight of a large gull sitting atop a lightpole at the corner of Larkin and Fulton. It was perched directly above the crosswalk sign.

Being along the corridor connecting the UN Plaza and Civic Center Plaza, the crosswalk has an auditory indicator – a clucking/cooing recording that indicates the direction that is safe to cross (there are different versions of the recording at various locations, from the cuckoo/chirp to the coo/click).

There the gull sat – facing the intersection – following the crosswalk coo with a deep-throated rumble COO of it’s own. Perfectly in rhythm. “coo-COO…..coo-COO….”

I wondered if it was just by coincidence, so I waited out the opposite direction recording (which the gull did NOT imitate) and when the recorded coo started up again, so did the gull. “coo-COO…coo-COO…” Definately deliberate.

Do gulls have a mating call? Could this poor guy have been sitting there, optimistic in his ability to woo the mysterious hidden gull enticing him with her song? Would he eventually be frustrated that the coo of his affections keeps playing coy – ignoring his reply call, then just as he begins to lose interest, starting it up again? How many times would they play this game – running hot, then cold, then hot again?

And we think internet dating is tough.

(there are studies which investigate the potential problem of these recordings being too similiar to bird calls. Tax dollars at work, people.)

1 Comment so far

  1. Victoria E (unregistered) on August 25th, 2006 @ 12:23 pm

    Stop screwing with the bird brains! :O

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