Seagull habits and preferences
Western seagulls are very aggressive, both in pursuing food and in defending their territories. They are rarely located anywhere but next to the ocean, are excellent swimmers, and may dive for food (they also feed on food available on the land). At times, the birds will be predatory and feed on other small birds. Seagulls are federally protected and are considered to be a social bird. They will nest in large numbers on the tops of buildings, houses, churches, and other structures — but they prefer a nesting site that is flat and somewhat rocky, much like the ground or a flat rooftop with a parapet low lying parapet ledge for protection.
Seagulls can be quite a nuisance in large numbers, especially when a food source is perceived (docks, marinas, waterfront restaurants and businesses). Seagulls also cause more aircraft accidents and problems than any other bird. Seagull droppings can also transmit many bird diseases and ectoparasites.
Biology of Seagulls
The seagull can get as large as over two feet long, and has a wingspan of between four and five feet. They are extremely common along the West Coast of the United States and into British Columbia. They will typically be white in appearance, with gray wings. Seagulls will typically live for roughly 15 years, but can live upwards of 25. Seagulls will eat a variety of products, including fish and invertebrates — but over land, they are most likely to feed on human refuse. Seagulls are another local bird species that thrives based on their ability to eat almost anything.
Seagull Control Measures & Prevention
Seagulls are a challenging pest to control; because they are a federally protected species, special permits must be obtained prior to some efforts to exclude or abate their presence(s), even on manmade structures. Seagull exclusionary methods such as netting may be installed in order to keep seagulls out of undesired areas. Ledge deterrents or an electrical shock system or bird spikes may be installed on appropriate ledges to keep seagulls from perching and defecating below. Gullwire or overhead wire may also be installed to keep seagulls from defacing buildings and other property. It is best to consult a professional bird control technician to discuss the best options for your specific situation and to devise a plan for treatment.
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