I Prefer Cooperation

Returning from Bodega Head, I noticed a small flock of White Pelicans fishing in a small pool along the shore.  Unlike Brown Pelicans who dive for food, White Pelicans fish in shallower water and work together to herd fish into the center of the flock.

More often than not, the result seems to be that most of the pelicans end up catching a fish. 

After all, pelicans have been around a long, long time and it seems unlikely they would have survived that long if socialistic strategies like this didn’t benefit the whole flock.

While I was photographing the pelicans I heard a ruckus behind them and looked up to see several gulls chasing a gull that had found a small crab.

Considering how small the crab was, I was amazed that this went on for several minutes

Apparently competition, rather than cooperation, is predominant in gull society.  As a survival technique for a species it must be as effective as cooperation since there are even more gulls than pelicans — at least here in the Pacific Northwest — but I’ll have to admit that it somehow seems less appealing to me. 

One thought on “I Prefer Cooperation”

What do you think?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: