Like all wild bird nests there are strict laws covering the removal of seagull nests. Wild birds, their young, eggs and nests are protected by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
The removal of birds’ eggs and nests is possible however only under licence. The use of a professional bird nesting control company with the experience of managing and liaising with licencing authorities is essential to ensure the correct licences are obtained.
Seagulls can cause considerable problems such as noise and serious health hazards from their messy droppings. When seagulls choose to swap cliffs and dunes for our homes, business roofs and commercial properties, they become unwanted tenants. Gulls’ nests can instigate expensive damage to property when they nest and roost, disturbing roofing materials and blocking gutters with nesting materials.
Gulls also have a fierce reputation of diving and swooping on people, causing distress and alarm among the general public.
During the seagull breeding season, gulls tend to be even more aggressive to protect their nests or young chicks.
The breeding season runs from late March through to September, with the seagulls beginning to mate in April and nest building from early May onwards. The nests can be large and, if made of material accumulated over several years, they can be very heavy, which in turn can cause damage to buildings.
The eggs are laid from early May onwards and take about three weeks to hatch, so the first chicks are seen about the beginning of June. With an average of 2 to 3 chicks per nest, they quickly grow and generally do not leave the nest for 5-6 weeks but like their parents, can be noisy.
Seagull nest removal is not possible until the breeding season is over. So, nest removal can begin once this has finished in September with the appropriate licence from the country agencies.
Licences are generally only granted where there is a risk to preserve public health, prevent the spread of disease, flight safety (at airports etc) or to prevent serious damage to livestock, crops, vegetables, fruit, growing timber, or fisheries.
It is important to stress, that bird nest removal can only be done under licence, and it is an offence to do so without a licence. The penalties for disturbing or removing a seagull nest carries a maximum £5,000 fine and 6 month prison term.
Gulls mate for life and will stick with the same partner, living for around 20 years. If seagulls are left undisturbed throughout a season, being highly territorial, they will return to the same nesting spot year after year.
Therefore, once nests have been removed and in order to prevent their return the use of seagull deterrents are highly recommended.
If you have a seagull problem and need advice, talk to our local professional teams based around the UK on 0333 567 2020 or book a survey and get a quote today.
Read our article - How To Get Rid of Seagulls - for further info.
Author: NBC Environment/Orkin
John Dickson of NBC has over 25 years’ experience managing the conflict that businesses can face with wildlife, birds and pests, reducing risks for many organisations across the UK. Since the business was founded in 1993, John has grown the business expanding the services we offer and developing NBC into one of the leading pest control businesses in the UK and the largest falconry business in Europe.