The herring gull is protected under the Conservation of Wildlife (Jersey) Law 2000. This also means that the removal of herring gull eggs and / or nests can only be carried out by those licensed to do so.
The herring gull is by far the most popular bird on the Island. They are large, noisy and usually found around our coasts or foraging for scraps around rubbish tips and fast food outlets. The adults have light grey backs, white under parts, and black wing tips with white 'mirrors'. Their legs are pink, with webbed feet and they have heavy, slightly hooked bills marked with a red spot. Young birds are mottled brown and the adult bird can weigh over a kilogram and have a wing span of 5 feet.
Herring gull breeding
- breeding pairs court in March and commence nest building from early April onwards
- eggs are laid from April to May onwards with 2 or 3 being the usual number. The eggs take about 3 to 4 weeks to hatch so the first chicks are generally seen about the beginning of June
- chicks generally fledge in August and then take 3 or 4 years to reach maturity and breed
- gulls will tend to return to the same nesting site and, unless action is taken to proof a building, problems associated with these birds may recur annually
- parent birds protecting fallen chicks are the ones which dive and swoop on people and animals
Conservation of Wildlife (Jersey) Law 2000 on Jersey Law website
Download herring gulls leaflet (size 80kb)