In defence of gulls

Posted on the 28th July 2017

During the summer period, there are always alarmist stories of gulls ‘attacking’ people – which inevitably lead to calls to cull them.

The holiday period coincides with the birds’ breeding season and, being such fierce defenders of their offspring, the birds may occasionally become aggressive in order to see off any perceived threat to their nest and children. These ‘attacks’ are usually exaggerated by the media and are very rare indeed.

To kill wild animals for protecting their babies is nothing short of ludicrous.

Despite this, if gulls are causing issues, there are a number of effective, humane methods of deterrence that can be used to discourage birds from nesting on flat roofs or chimneys, or from rummaging in our rubbish. Animal Aid has free advice sheets that detail the number of humane, non-lethal methods of deterrence available.

These include ensuring that all rubbish and food waste is disposed of properly, blocking access to regular breeding sites, and the use of gull wire to prevent landing – amongst others.

In any case, we should show tolerance to these birds, not least because they are just being good parents, and six of the seven gull species are in decline – partly due to over-fishing by humans.

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