Be prepared for nesting gulls
Every year a number of rooftops become the home to nesting seagulls. Gulls on your roof can be very troublesome and early preventative action can save both disruption and money and is considerably less traumatic for the gulls.
Spotting the problem early allows licensed pest controllers to remove nests and eggs and protect your roof. Gulls start looking to nest in February, by May the eggs will be hatching and removing the gulls will require killing the chicks. This can be done by someone licensed, however is not acceptable as a long term means of pest control.
What you can do now
- check your roof for gull activity early in the year, especially if seagulls have nested in your area previously
- advise your neighbours if you see gulls on their roof as a neighbour’s nest will affect you
- remove all unintended food sources, protect your rubbish and do not feed seagulls
- take preventative action to protect your roof to stop gulls from nesting
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 two or three being the usual number
- eggs take about three to four weeks to hatch so the first chicks are generally seen around the beginning of June
- chicks generally fledge in August and then take three or four 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
Who is responsible for a nesting gull on the roof?
The responsibility rests with the owner of the property. The Jersey Wildlife Law protects:
- adult birds
- their nests
Removal of eggs is not only against the law but may be extremely hazardous.
Some pest controllers have been licensed to remove nests and eggs where appropriate, and in certain circumstances chicks. Contact a licensed pest controller as soon as the nest is identified.
Herring gull protection and monitoring
Feeding gulls may be illegal and can cause many problems. It is likely to contribute to the amount of gulls nesting in a location especially if done frequently. The resulting dense population of gulls may deter more desirable birds from your garden. Feeding gulls frequently causes disputes between neighbours. To report a neighbour feeding gulls, contact Environmental Health on 445808.
Some common problems
A chick has fallen out of the nest
As far as possible chicks should not be interfered with even if they have fallen from the nest. It is not feasible to raise chicks without creating an adult unafraid of humans.
The Animal Shelter will not collect chicks that have fallen out of a nest unless it is sick or injured.
Licensed pest controllers may remove and cull chicks but will charge.
Seagulls may act in a threatening way either when collecting food or protecting their young. Cafes and fast food outlets should advise caution when dispensing products for outside consumption.
Caution is needed with all outdoor eating throughout the summer in areas where gulls are resident.
If you are wounded by a gull, professional medical assessment may be required.
Save our seagulls by not feeding them leaflet
The States of Jersey does not offer pest control services but issues licences to pest controllers with appropriate training and experience in bird management.