Houdini the Great is the inspiration for the name of a Western Gull who has an uncanny knack of knowing when to show up for snacks on our deck. Watching the antics of this bird and his partner, Francine, really teaches us life-lessons.


The gull as a totem animal is known for communication, especially non-verbal communication. It also stands for keeping a clean environment and stewardship. Houdini really demonstrates these ideas.


Houdini shows up out of nowhere every morning for snack of dog food. He usually comes with two crow buddies. Most days the crows crowd around him to snag some of the food. Houdini is demonstrating how to share and possibly some compassion once his needs are met. Some days though, Houdini is extra hungry and on those days he shoos off the crows. If Francine comes with Houdini the crows have to wait for fallen food. Most interesting is that after Houdini and Francine have mated, Houdini will come and guard the food and wait to eat until Francine arrives. Only then can the crows have what is left. Houdini seems to know to share when he can and who needs the food the most. Clearly there is communication going on.


Houdini is an expert demonstrating boundaries. No other gulls are allowed in his defined territory. He will stop eating and squeal at those gulls as they fly by. If those other gulls get too close or slow down too much, Houdini will stop eating and abruptly fly off to chase those gulls away. Although other gull couples live nearby, they don’t typically encroach on Houdini’s territory.  In neutral areas, like the beach itself, all rules are off and Houdini will happily join the swarm of gulls to feed.  


Houdini lives life in the present, while expecting to find what he wants and needs. He happily sifts through garbage for that one piece of wonderful food. He can wait for hours to get food from a person or to get his eventual turn.


One of the greatest lessons that Houdini teaches us is gratitude. Houdini often brings gifts of shells, pine needles, crab claws, grasses and feathers. He swoops down onto the deck with a beak full of treasure and ceremoniously presents them to us.  Then he appears to have a satisfied smug look and he will hang out for hours watching what is going on around him. Francine at times does the same thing.


This has been going on now for a few years. Despite the hazards of nature, these birds, that many call garbage, live in the present moment, share and look out for each other, model good behavior, recycle garbage and show appreciation. Lessons we all can benefit from.

Abstract: Gulls are  often viewed negatively as garbage of the sea but eat the foods that other's consider garbage, thus reducing waste. Gulls though live life in the present. gulls show gratitude by bringing gifts.  Gulls  Gulls show compassion by sharing. Watch nature closely and you too can learn about life.


Kim Marks is a Soul Coach helping you transform into alignment with your soul. From manifesting a new goal, to understanding and moving through the depths of grief, she helps you to reconnect to your internal abundance . Learn more about Kim and how she can help you: www.KimMarksCoaching.com


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