With the world’s eyes fixated on the spot where a plume of white smoke was to announce the papal election, the bird’s performances were immortalised in pictures quickly relayed by media all over the world, leading to an anonymous Twitter user setting up a “@SistineSeagull” profile on the social media site.

“Hanging out at Conclave. Loving Life. And Cheetos,” the profile said, referring to a brand of US cheese-flavoured snacks. By late Wednesday afternoon, it had gained more than 8,500 followers.

SS cheekily tweeted later: “Everybody talks about the Cardinals, but its really the ‘gulls that make it happen. #conclave #gullpower”

The seagull was even missed by viewers as it flew away with many tweeting anxiously for the bird’s return.

It’s traditionally a dove that represents the Holy Spirit, but one would suggest a scavenging pest-like bird with little moral principle is much more symbolic of the Vatican.