Gull

Identification

Gulls and other related sea birds exist in great numbers along coastal areas, large lakes and rivers. A subset of long winged swimming birds, there are 45 species of Gulls . Twenty species are resident (nesting) in North America and four are visitors (non-nesting). An intelligent bird, they will carry mussels and clams high in the air and drop them on hard surfaces to get to the soft meat inside. Gulls have the ability to drink saltwater and freshwater, thanks to a pair of salt removing glands above their nostrils. They are good swimmers who can walk or run agilely on land. Gulls are scavenging birds; they will eat everything from dead fish and garbage to field mice and insects. Gulls enjoy protection at the federal, state and local levels.

The typical Gull has a light colored body with black wing tips and a dark mantle that can range from deep black to light gray. Their coloring can change between seasons. Juveniles are usually brown with a dark band on the tail.

Damage

Gulls can be a nuisance in coastal areas, particularly at dump sites, piers and harbors. Flocks of Gulls often create hazardous conditions to low flying aircraft. Large buildup of droppings will lead to structural damage from the uric acid. Boats, streetlights and buildings are just a few of the items damaged from excessive gull droppings. Furthermore, their droppings can also pose a health risk.

Control

Gridwire systems and large 4" mesh StealthNet will deny access to large open areas. Bird-Flite spikes, 5" Bird Coil, and Bird-Shock electrical track are very effective on ledges depending on the level of bird pressure. The Daddi Long Legs is a great product to dissuade Gulls from landing on silos, street lights, A/C units & large flat rooftops. For feeding sites such as dumps, a wide variety of audio/visual products like the Avikite or Flying Osprey and noisemakers like Zon Guns, Bird Bombs and Screamers, or high tech multiple and random sound distress call units like the Bird-Gard, Squawker or BirdWailer units should be combined with exclusionary products such as Gridwire systems or 4" StealthNet.

Nesting

Gulls build basic nests on the ground in safe open areas. The nest often consists of grass, seaweed and some sticks. They nest in colonies on sandy or gravely areas near the shore.

Breeding

These birds have one brood a year with an average of three eggs. Incubation takes 20 to 24 days with a six week fledgling period before the young leave the nest. The eggs are brown, green or blue with blotches of black, brown or gray.

Cycles

Some species are migratory. Gulls need open water and secluded breeding areas. Because of this, Northern Gulls will fly south away from frozen lakes and rivers in the winter, while southern Gulls stay put year round. They have a distinct springtime breeding season. The young take two years to mature and display adult plumage.

ARTICLES

Seagulls in the winter?

With the cold weather approaching, you would think all birds would be flying south. Unfortunately, for a townhouse complex in Tinton Falls, New Jersey, hundreds, if not thousands of seagulls are flocking to the rooftops of the development. The town recently held a meeting to discuss the situation and how to resolve it. “At least […] ...

Anchovies, anyone?

In Santa Cruz, Calif., humpback whales, which can measure up to 50 feet long are attracting not only onlookers, but hundreds of hungry seagulls. The whales feed on anchovies which then escape closer to the surface, giving the seagulls a clear shot to dive in and fill their bellies. This mess of a situation has […] ...

Case Study: Daddi Long Legs

A local taxi dispatch at an airport in New York was experiencing a major problem with seagulls. The birds were being fed by tourists and locals alike and roosting on the light fixtures afterward. This started to become a problem as bird strikes increased at the airport. A bird strike is the collision of a […] ...

She sells seashells by the seashore

She sells seashells by the seashoreIt has been about two weeks since June 21, the first day of summer. For most of us, summer represents hot weather and the beach. When the beach comes to mind, we can't help but think about those birds that hang out on the sand, seagulls. A fun fact about seagulls is there are 45 […] ...

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