photos ©ingridtaylar – email me for permissions
mouette = from Middle French mouette = from Old French moette = diminutive of Old French maoe (Anglo-Norman mave, mauve) = from Old English mǣw (“seagull”) = from Proto-Germanic *maihwaz, *maiwaz (“seagull”)
Someone challenged these gulls with leftovers from the patisserie. If a gull can swallow a starfish, near whole (she can), I’d say un petit pain shouldn’t be a problem … even if gulls should be careful about their refined carbs.
The nutritional value is questionable in a baked roll of dough, whereas scarfing a starfish might actually provide medicine for the gull. A Bamfield Marine Sciences Newsletter (Spring 2009) cites a study by graduate student Justin Suraci, on the topic of why gulls choke down sea stars:
“Gulls have been known to eat sea stars bigger than their head, sometimes standing around for 30 minutes to swallow the whole star. Considering the time it takes to choke one down … the star must have either 40 times the nutritional value of anything else on the beach or it offers something the gull can’t get elsewhere. Justin Suraci wonders whether the bird might be in it for the saponins, pharmacological compounds found in many plants and no animal except for sea stars and sea cucumbers. The saponins, or perhaps a star’s spiky ossicles, might help rid the gull of gut parasites.”
Let’s hope these gulls are getting some nutrients and saponins along with their white flour.