Herring Gull (Larus Argentatus) and Lesser Black Backed Gull (Larus Fuscus)
Herring Gulls can be found many miles inland and are not found inclusively near the sea. In large numbers their loud and distinct calls can cause considerable noise pollution. They can be found on rubbish tips, agricultural land, reservoirs and gravel pits or wherever there is a source of food. There are various types of gull found in the UK with most being between 40 – 60 cms in height, white in colour and with a sharp pointed beak.
Herring Gulls can live for 20 – 30 years and they nest on sea cliffs or building ledges. The nest is a well constructed “cup” made of twigs and other materials. The clutch of one to four eggs is incubated by both sexes for up to thirty days. The chicks hatch fully covered in down, and are fed by both parents. At only a few days old the chicks leave the nest and move to the safety of nearby vegetation.
In addition to noise pollution, herring gulls can be aggressive and have been known to dive bomb people during the breeding season. Gulls damage roof insulation on buildings, their nests block gutters which can cause flooding and the alkalinity of their droppings damages the paintwork of vehicles. Gulls also carry many diseases, which have the potential to infect humans via contact with their droppings. Diseases transmissible to humans included salmonella, E. coli, campylobacter, cryptosporidium and listeria.
The control of herring gulls and all other wild birds in the UK is legislated by Natural England, The Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), courtesy of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (Chapter 69). The Act deals with all matters relating to the management of wildlife, the provision of licences and wildlife conservation.
Merlin Services Wiltshire Ltd are licensed and qualified to deal with herring gulls and will be able to advise you accordingly.