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Government of

Information and public services for the Island of Jersey

L'înformâtion et les sèrvices publyis pouor I'Île dé Jèrri

Herring gull protection and monitoring

Herring gull protection

The herring gull is protected under the Wildlife (Jersey) Law 2021. This also means that the removal of herring gull eggs or nests can only be done by those licensed to do so.

Herring gull facts

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 start nest building from early April onwards.

Eggs are laid from April to May onwards with two or three being the usual number. The eggs take about 3 to 4 weeks to hatch so the first chicks are generally seen around the beginning of June.

Chicks generally fledge in August and then take 3 or 4 years to reach maturity and breed. Parent birds protect fallen chicks by diving and swooping on people and animals.

Gulls 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.

Wildlife (Jersey) Law 2021 on Jersey Law website
Herring gulls leaflet

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