Cambie nest

I spotted an adult gull resting at the far end of the rooftop when I went to check-up on Cambie nest yesterday morning. It was the same location as on July 21st, which gave me some hope.

Cambie nest

Cambie nest

Cambie nest chicks?

The rooftop on this building is covered with skylights and chimneys, offering numerous spots for the chicks to find shade. I spent around ten minutes looking from as many angles as I could, photographing any area that looked promising.

I noticed something suspicious not far from the chimney the adult was resting on…

Cambie nest chicks?

Cambie nest chicks?

Cambie nest chicks!

Neither looking through my lens nor zooming into the photo on my camera’s screen revealed if I was looking at a piece of trash or gull chicks.

Once I processed and cropped the photo, I was pleased and relieved to see both chicks from Cambie nest cuddled together.

Cambie nest chicks!

Cambie nest chicks!

New: Apartment nest

Something I didn’t expect – a new nest! I had my suspicious about a possible nest on this building based on the behaviour of some adult gulls. However, there’s no place I can access that gives me a high enough vantage point to see the rooftop, so I couldn’t be certain.

But today something caught my eye: resting in the shade near the edge of an apartments’ rooftop was a gull chick. Judging by the amount of feathers, I guess this bird is at least three weeks old. I didn’t see any other chicks, but it is entirely possible there are more.

This nest is on an apartment rooftop, almost directly across an alleyway from Design nest.

Apartment nest

Apartment nest

Chimney nest

Both the chicks were out from behind the usual hiding spot, sticking close to one another.

Chimney nest

Chimney nest

Grassy nest #1

One of the three chicks peers off the edge of the platform where it was born.

In another month or so I expect this bird will be getting ready to jump off that edge and begin the most challenging year of its life. As with almost all birds, the first year is the most dangerous – research has estimated a 60% mortality rate1 for first year Glaucous-winged Gulls in British Columbia.

Grassy nest #1

Grassy nest #1

Grassy nest #2

Two chicks of slightly different ages stand near the edge of the platform.

Grassy nest #2

Grassy nest #2

Chimney & Grassy nests overview

It was pointed out that almost all the photos I take are close-ups – so for those of you who aren’t familiar with Vancouver, or are simply curious, here’s a photo that gives you more context. I’ll perhaps do the same for some of the other locations in the future, but as you may understand, I’m somewhat protective.

Chimney & Grassy nests overview

Chimney & Grassy nests overview

Culinary nest

It’s been challenging to photograph these chicks lately. They are consistently poorly lit and at an awkward angle.

In any case, these dishevelled-looking birds are moving into the fledgling stage. They’ll be spending more and more time exercising their wings to prepare for the day they make their first flight.

Culinary Nest

Culinary Nest

Penthouse nest

Another peek from this chick.

Penthouse nest

Penthouse nest

Penthouse nest disturbance

I happened to pass this nest today and chanced upon another person on a roof. He seemed to be inspecting something and walked up onto the platform where the Penthouse nest is located. Both adults were on high alert, defending the chick and nesting area, swooping close to the guy. I stopped and watched but realized I should have yelled and let the guy know there was a chick there. I suspect he didn’t see the chick and so didn’t understand why the gulls were so angry with him.

Soon after this photo he went back down through the hatchway on his right and left the gulls in peace. I saw the chick and verified it was ok.

Penthouse nest disturbance

Penthouse nest disturbance

Restaurant nest

In my last update I couldn’t find the two chicks at Restaurant nest.

Well, no need to worry. Yesterday I spotted them sleeping soundly in the nest.

Restaurant nest

Restaurant nest


  1. Butler, R. W., N. A. M. Verbeek and R. G. Foottit. (1980). Mortality and dispersal of the Glaucous-winged Gulls of southern British Columbia. Canadian Field-Naturalist 94 (3):315-320. https://birdsoftheworld.org/bow/species/glwgul/cur/demography ↩︎