On a visit to Hammonasset, I witness a real dogfight between some gulls. They were fighting over food that people had left behind. This will of course cause problems when the other breeding shore birds start to show up. But these gulls were really going at it over this food. There was dynamic flying, calling, and a real sense that this food was absolutely vital to their survival. As the fight went on, I was impressed with the determination of the gulls and how they had adapted. All the birds made opportunity cost calculations. The one with the food was attempting to fly away with as little effort as possible. As the dog fight continued, fewer and few gulls remained. They figured that their probability of getting food was low enough that staying wasn't worth their time. Eventually, the gull who found the food was able to hold off the other gulls...
A Dark Juvenile Herring Gull
The Distant raft of gulls
Herring Gulls fighting, yelling, and flying over food
It was a real dogfight!