ITV’s This Morning show has recently spoke about seagulls and how people are being affected by them and other birds in general.
As a bird control specialist for Peter Cox, Kevin gave his comments about how gulls and birds are becoming a bigger problem in the UK:
“As the gull population increases in density it means that humans are much more likely to encroach on nesting territory. Gulls will actively defecate and vomit on anyone they perceive as a threat to them, their nests and young, and will resort to dive bombing in an attempt to drive the threat away.
Gulls are highly adaptable feeders that opportunistically take a wide range of prey. The food taken by gulls includes fish and marine and freshwater invertebrates, both alive and already dead, terrestrial arthropods and invertebrates such as insects and earthworms, rodents, eggs, carrion, offal, reptiles, amphibians, plant items such as seeds and fruit, human refuse, chips, and even other birds. No gull species is a single-prey specialist, and no gull species forages using only a single method. The type of food depends on circumstances, and terrestrial prey such as seeds, fruit and earthworms are more common during the breeding season while marine prey is more common in the non-breeding season when birds spend more time on large bodies of water
Gulls on the wing will snatch items both off water and off the ground; – this obviously includes chips and ice cream irrespective of whether it is being held by someone.
While overall feeding success is a function of age, the diversity in both prey and feeding methods is not. It has been suggested that the time taken to learn foraging skills explains the delayed maturation in gulls.
Over the years in coastal resorts where there is a good supply of food all year round, either from refuse tips, bins or from fast food outlets, gulls have learnt they are able to feed more freely with less effort and that there are rich pickings to be had – they just need to ensure they get them first. Why spend time learning foraging skills and how to catch prey when there is a seemingly endless supply of food on tips and in coastal resorts?
In short, we have unintentionally trained gulls, (along with other species of birds most notably pigeons), to feed in our coastal resorts and city centres. This has not happened overnight but has effectively taking years of “training”
Left unchecked the numbers of most gulls will most likely increase year on year, this coupled with more gulls learning of the “free food” to be had in coastal resorts will most likely see these problems increase in the future”.
If you are a commercial building owner that has a problem with gulls and other types of birds, take a look at our Commercial Bird Deterrence page to find out how we can help.