In the absence of a pope, a seagull stole the show at the papal conclave.
Smoke watching became bird watching in St. Peter’s Square after a gull spent several minutes 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 of the sea of pilgrims eagerly waiting in the rain for papal tidings.
The bird offered welcome comic relief.
Harry Sheeran tourist from Dublin said it was “nearer to heaven than we are.”
Minutes after being spotted, the bird inspired a multitude of Twitter postings.