My assistant and I were chatting yesterday morning, and he interrupted my (doubtlessly fascinating) discourse to point out that some men in hardhats and gloves were on the roof across from my office. A pair of sea gulls have been nesting there, and attacking the men who have been working to replace the substrate to the rubber roof (it must be something nasty, given the moonsuits they wear.) There has been a lot of fowl vs. human combat outside my window, and now the time had apparently come for humanity to exercise our evolutionary edge.
One guy videotaped while the other guy grabbed the nest. He put it in a bag, with the parent gulls swooping in on him all the while. Then he went back into the corner with a cage, and emerged with four tiny fuzzy gray gulls peeping in the cage. The parents were diving around and screeching. Quickly, the two men, with the cage and the bag, dove into the hatch and down into the building. I was sort of sad - herring gulls are no endangered species, and actually sort of a pest, but I felt for the gulls as a fellow parent.
For the rest of the day the parent gulls swooped around, calling and squealing for their missing babies. They banged up against my window, several stories above, and swooped again and again over their abandoned nest site. Today they were nowhere to be seen or heard. I have no idea what became of the chicks.