Council issues advice on dealing with Aberdeen’s problem gulls

The council has issued guidelines on how to deal with gulls – as the number of problems reported relating to the birds soars.

Numbers of herring gulls and lesser black-backed gulls have grown in Aberdeen – and while some see them as part of the city’s fabric, others regard them as a nuisance.

Among Aberdeen City Council’s top tips for tackling gulls is to avoid feeding them, and to install deterrents such as nets and spikes on roofs to stop them from nesting.

Some of the problems associated with gulls include noise, damage to property and safety.

In 2018 195 reports were received regarding gull issues, compared to 176 in 2014.

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The local authority’s environmental health service said it has no statutory powers to take action against the birds and can only give advice to the public on how they can deal with the problem.

An Aberdeen City Council spokeswoman said: “Life has become very easy for the urban gulls in Aberdeen due to the discarding of food and containers, particularly in the city centre, and people feeding them.

“The key to reducing gull numbers lies in reducing the ability to breed and limiting the supply of food.

“In addition, too much human food is not good for them and can lead to them attacking people to steal food.

“Their natural diet is based on shellfish, other small sea creatures, earthworms, bird’s eggs and insects.

“We’d encourage people to heed the advice and play their part – particularly not to feed the birds.”

Nuisance relating to gulls, which are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, lasts from March until September while they are nesting.

The council also advised that people should not drop food scraps and should dispose of food waste in a responsible manner.

Property owners can discourage gulls from nesting by putting deterrent devices on chimney heads and flat roof areas, such as spikes and nets.

People can arrange for a licenced pest control company to oil or pierce eggs to prevent hatching, or have the nest and eggs removed.