Growing concern over dive-bombing seagulls

Terrified residents are calling on East Dunbartonshire

Bearsden resident scared of swooping seagulls in her garden.

Council (EDC) to deal with the problem of vicious seagulls in Bearsden.

After reading our story about the teenager who won’t leave his house without an umbrella to defend himself against the birds - a Mosshead Road resident says it’s time that the council took the problem seriously.

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The woman, who has gulls nesting on her roof, said: “I cannot leave my house without being dive-bombed.

“I use a golf umbrella to protect myself, I can’t hang out my washing and I can’t use my garden any more.

“People passing the house are constantly, day and night, under attack from these huge nasty birds.

“A dog was pecked to death buy seagulls last week in Cornwall, if they can do that to a dog they could harm a small child.

“I understand that this attacking is natural parental protective behaviour, but seagulls belong at the sea and not on houses in the suburbs.

“Seagull populations increase year on year, and the problem is going to continue to increase. Other councils in Scotland are pro-active in this issue, why can’t EDC do something?”

Team leader, environmental health, Joe Harkin, said: “Gulls are very protective of their young and may swoop down to protect them, which can cause anxiety, while the noise they produce can be disturbing.

“Wild birds roost in the breeding season and will move on in the near future once their offspring have left the nest.

“The council does not have a statutory responsibility for dealing with wild birds, like seagulls, and does not provide a service to control them. We also have no enforcement powers to require property owners to deal with seagulls on their property.

“West Dunbartonshire Council offers a chargeable service to residents and businesses to remove eggs and nests and apply spikes to roofs and chimneys.

“Nest removal and egg removal would have to be repeated a number of times during the breeding season as the gulls rebuild their nest very quickly if it has been removed or destroyed.

“Experts do not all agree that a large scale cull of birds would be effective.

“Anyone who has problems with wild birds nesting or roosting can employ licensed contractors to offer advice and assistance.

For more information on the legal position on dealing with these birds they can contact Scottish Natural Heritage on 01463 725000.”