Advice to residents over nesting gulls

Homeowners affected by gulls nesting on or near their homes are being given advice after North Tyneside Council received an increase in calls.

Over the last few decades, gulls have increasingly used roofs for nesting instead of the traditional sea cliffs, islands and other inaccessible locations.

Most large gulls will lay their eggs between April and July. Depending on when their eggs are laid there will be a 25 to 30-day incubation period, followed by a five or six-week fledgling period when the chicks are nesting.

Gulls will swoop down on people to protect their chicks or when in search of food to feed their young.

But there are some measures which can make an area less attractive to gulls:

• do not throw food up into the air to the gulls;

• dispose of litter containing food carefully;

• gulls swoop on people to protect chicks. If you see a gull chick, leave it alone;

• nesting birds should be left undisturbed.

There are products available on the market that can prevent birds from nesting on roofs and chimney areas

Gulls are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, therefore it is an offence to disturb a bird while constructing or using a nest between February 1 and August 31. It is also illegal to do anything to cause suffering to gulls.

Other useful information is available on the ecology and wildlife area of the council’s website www.northtyneside.gov.uk