There was a time when seagulls, or more precisely gulls, were only ever seen and heard at the seaside. But this is no longer the case. Although it’s true to say gulls are still to be found along our coastlines, they are becoming increasingly common in urban areas.
The decline of the traditional fishing industry has been a factor in this move inland. With large landfill sites and the increase in discarded food and rubbish, Gulls can find plenty to eat. Two of the more common Gulls we’re asked about are the Herring and Lesser Black-backed Gulls.
Facts about Herring and Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- They nest on roof tops, no surprise as they are used to inaccessible areas. The Gulls nesting on your house roof are most likely to be Herring Gulls whilst the Lesser Black-backed gulls are to be found on larger industrial or commercial buildings with flat roofs.
- The Herring Gull is large with a light grey back and white underside. The Lesser Black-backed Gull is slightly smaller with a dark grey back.
- Both have yellow bills, though the Herring Gull’s is marked with a red spot.
- The Herring Gull has pink legs, the Lesser Black-backed, yellow.
- The breeding season is April to September and each pair will have 1 brood of 1 – 3 eggs.
- They feed away from the nesting sites which are typically high-up to give them protection from predators. As scavengers, they will eat anything and are often seen swooping down to steal food from bins, the ground, even your hands.
- They can be aggressive, particularly when nesting and are fiercely protective of their chicks
- The young are mottled brown in colour and can take up to 4 years to assume their adult plumage.
Although we can all admire their graceful flight and mastery of the air as they wheel across a blue sky, Gulls can be an extreme nuisance.
As well as the mess they make, these birds can:
- Create a health hazard by spreading Ornithosis, Salmonella, E.coli
- Damage your property –droppings deface buildings, nesting material block drains and gutters etc
- Attack people if they feel their young are under threat
- Encourage insect infestation in the nesting material. This can spread to the property
- Create slip hazards as they foul on walkways and footpaths
Specialist Bird Team
Gulls are protected by law but if they are a risk to public health, measures can be taken to prevent nesting. Birds are very adaptable and will nest every year in the same place unless preventative measures are taken.
Strathearn Pest Control has developed a number of effective bird friendly solutions over the last 35 years.
To find out more about how we can help you, Call us now for free expert advice on 0800 0283 703