Earl the Seagull (Mini-Documentary)

In July of 2014, I visited Niagara Falls, Canada with my family and – as I was wont to do – I spent the majority of the trip with one eye glued to the viewfinder of my video camera. The footage has subsequently spent the nearly half-decade since the trip gathering dust in a nested folder alongside all the other random photos and video clips I’ve taken throughout my life.

Recently, I was reviewing the clips on a nostalgia trip, reminiscing back to my awkward chubby years, when I noticed a series of videos seemingly dedicated to a single seagull. It became immediately obvious, however, that this was no ordinary seagull. While it lived unchallenged amongst the others of its kind, this one bizarre creature was unmistakably unlike the others.

As you can see, it seems to carry itself in a very peculiar way, almost as if it has broken wings. You’ll be glad to hear that the truth is a bit less painful. I’ll let chunky 2014 me fill you in:

“Ok, so, the seagull we saw earlier with the weird wings was called Earl and um yeah he can’t fly and he just sorta walks around the area. Apparently, he can’t feel his wings or anything and yeah, he lives, he finds food to eat, he walks around and… that’s closure: he’s gonna be ok. He’s been there for like, years (or at least a very long time).”

So it appears that the locals had taken to calling the oddball-featherball by the name of Earl. According to them, his wings were just paralyzed. Now, I’m not sure if it was due to some unfortunate accident or simply a congenital condition, but he looks to have been coping just fine either way.

It’s been a while since the video was taken, so I’m not sure if Earl is still around. But if you ever find yourself on the Canadian side of the falls, stop and see if Earl is still waddling the area.

Give him some breadcrumbs for me.

Music: “Roman Robot Statues” by Lemon Demon

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