Gulls (Laridae spp.)
Gull Species (Laridae), often referred to as Seagulls are medium-sized to large, long winged birds that regularly occur in large flocks. Mostly white in colour with grey or black back and wings. The young birds are a mottled brown colour only taking on the adult plumage gradually over time. Gull Species (Laridae) fly with with relatively slow wing beats and frequently soar on motionless wings.
The Key Facts About Gulls (Seagulls)…
There are several common Gull species that cause problems in the UK. They are Herring Gull (Larus argentatus), Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus), Lesser Black-backed Gull (Larus fuscus), Black-headed Gull (Larus ridbundus) and the Common Gull (Larus canus).
All of these Gull Species except Black-headed Gull and Common Gull are classed as pest species and can be controlled under the Health and Safety General License, and all Gull Species (Laridae) can be controlled under the Air Safety General License.
Gull Species (Laridae) live for up to 25 years, reaching sexual maturity 5 years after birth, eggs are lain in April or May and usually only produce 1 clutch a year, each clutch containing between 2-3 offspring. The young remain near the nest for 5-6 weeks meaning that the breeding season often extends to August.
Gull Species (Laridae) Significance of Control…
Gull Species (Laridae) used to be associated with coastal areas but are now found commonly in many inland towns and cities. They will readily nest on roofs of private houses, hotels, office buildings, warehouses and large factories.
They will fly long distances for food, which they often find at landfill sites, sewage outlets or agricultural land. Other food sources include scavenging from urban areas and commercial food waste.
Gull Species (Laridae) can often be aggressive when feeding and protecting their young. This can lead to a direct public health risk, especially during breeding season. Scheduled nest removals during the breeding season can reduce or eliminate this aggression and provide a more humane method of control as no live birds need to be culled. Structured nest removals planned over successive seasons can help to move Gulls from buildings that they have colonised for years.
Proofing measures, environmental habitat control and strict waste management procedures are also effective methods of controlling this Pest Bird species.
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