Seagull perches on Sistine Chapel chimney

A seagull sits on the chimney on the roof of the Sistine Chapel while another flies overhead in St. Peter's Square during the second day of the conclave to elect a new pope at the Vatican on Wednesday.   | Photo Credit: Dmitry Lovetsky

With no pope, a seagull is stealing the show at the papal conclave.

Smoke watching has become bird watching in St. Peter’s Square after a seagull perched atop the chimney that belches out smoke from the Sistine Chapel to signal whether or not a pope has been elected.

From the chapel’s tiled roof, the gull had a commanding bird’s eye view on Wednesday of the sea of pilgrims eagerly waiting in the rain for papal tidings. Black smoke means no pope yet; white means “Habemus Papum” (We have a pope!)

The bird offered welcome comic relief.

Dublin tourist Harry Sheeran quipped that the gull was “nearer to heaven than we are”.

Minutes after being spotted, the bird inspired a slew of Twitter accounts.

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Printable version | Jan 27, 2022 1:45:23 PM |

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