Aberdeenshire Council releases information ahead of gull breeding season

With increasing numbers of gulls arriving in urban areas to nest and feed, this brings them into conflict with communities and by September Aberdeenshire Council will see a steady increase in complaints received about noise, behavior aggressive and dirt.

Gull nesting to be discussed in future report

These problems are experienced by many communities across the British Isles and particularly in the North East of Scotland which has the highest population of gulls such as herring gulls in Scotland.

A spokesperson said: “Mitigation of the effects of city gulls on communities is extremely complex and we have recently completed a review of various strategies to minimize the impacts of city gulls.

“The findings of this review will be presented to our Infrastructure Services Committee on March 10 with a view to putting in place an action plan over the next five years that will help mitigate the impact of urban gulls.

“Key measures being considered include gull protection, egg and nest removal, elimination of food sources, waste reduction, gull deterrent bins and liaising with communities to provide advice. and develop community-led strategies.

“We remind residents and businesses that as a local authority we currently have no legal power to take action against gulls.

“Gulls are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 which means it is illegal to capture, harm or destroy any wild bird, or interfere with its nest or eggs, unless you have a permit.

“The most common complaints with gulls relate to the sound of the gulls’ calls and the messiness of their droppings.

“But they also pose more serious problems – they often dive and swoop down on people, which can cause injury and they can also cause significant property damage when nesting.”

The advice is simple:

• Do not feed gulls in streets, gardens or parks and do not drop leftover food – gulls are scavengers and discarded food encourages gulls to stay close to the food source

• Dispose of food waste responsibly – ensure waste and other food waste is properly stored or disposed of using the bins provided

• Whenever possible, put your household waste bins – especially food waste – for collection on the day of collection and not the day before

• Homeowners can deter gulls from nesting by installing deterrents on chimney tops and flat roofs such as spikes and netting

• You can have a licensed pest control company oil or pierce the eggs to prevent hatching or have the nest and eggs removed.

• Businesses that have netting on their roofs to discourage birds should be aware that the netting should be checked daily for any holes or entangled birds.

They should have a way to free the birds, without calling the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service

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