We've Been Adopted (by Melba-Melvin)

For days now (maybe closer to a week), come rain or shine, we've had a Swallow-tailed gull hanging around for hours at a time on the two liferafts that are secured along the port-side of the Forecastle, or "Fo'c'sle," Deck.  The bird spends so much time out there, we've begun to think we may have been adopted...

[Photo by Benoit Ildefonse]

Word has it that even the guys from the drilling crew (usually the toughest-of-the-tough), have taken to saying "good day" to the bird when they pass by at the beginning of their shifts. Looks like we've all developed a bit of a soft spot for this gull.

Our resident 'birder,' Sandy Dillard, says there's no way to tell just from the bird's markings whether it's male or female.  Chad Broyles, our Curatorial Specialist, says we should call the bird "Melba" if it's a girl, and "Melvin" if it's a boy.  Which do you think it is?...

 [Photo by Yoshiko Adachi]

Tim Fulton, our good-natured Publication Specialist, sits in an office that looks right out on those liferafts, so you can see the bird really well from where he sits. And people are forever piling into Tim's office at all hours of the day, saying things like, "Look!  The bird's back!" (And Tim just smiles, because he knows the bird's been there for 3 hours already).  Tim thinks the bird is a girl and refers to it as "she," so maybe we should follow Tim's lead, and just decide to call her Melba.

[Photo by Tim Fulton]




about Melba

Thank you for showing us the birds on the ship. We wish we had seen Melba! What would the bird eat if it was not on your boat? We guess that you are feeding it. Are there other birds that have stayed on your ship? Or is Melba the only one that has stuck around?


Why do you think the bird follows the ship? Is there food on the ship that the bird wants or does is it just a people bird? I have a feeling it is a boy because it has a wide broaded chest! Well you have fun sailing and tell Melba/Melvin hi for me! haha - CREATURE

Red Freckles

I think it looks like a melvin! What do you think? Do you feed him/her? When i was little me and my friend where in mexico and a seagull would follow us every where it got ketchup on it's face and looked like it had red freckles so we called it that. The next day we saw Red Freckles on the ground with a broken wing and called the vet and they fixed him up and relesed him! Take good care of melba/melvin!
-Island Girl

Unlike Island girl I think it

Unlike Island girl I think it looks like a Melba. But if you guys find out whether it is a he/she please tell us! I LOVE animals!! Is that type of gull common where you guys are? And why do you say that the gull adopted you?

Animal Lover and Still With Issues