The common seagull in the southern hemisphere has three different types of breed here in Australia however there are over 50 documented breeds around the globe. They are a much smaller and lighter breed than their brothers in the northern hemisphere and around The Atlantic.Its hard to estimate but they live for up to 36 years but most of them live half of that time. These larger type of American and European birds are up to 40% larger in body weight which means they can do even more damage than a smaller type of bird here in Australia. Nevertheless, the Seagull is an extremely common bird around of Australia due to the fact that most of our population is based tightly around the beaches, coastlines , rivers, and oceans.
We will not go into the details of the differences of the birds other than to say that they all have very similar characteristics, breeding patterns, eating patterns.
Most see problems result from them landing or roosting on boats, pontoons, patios or outdoor dining areas near the water. They often drag chicken bones and other food materials on to these platforms which can make a real mess. Gulls like to roost on boats because it is quiet and secluded and away from human activity. These birds can also be a problem around restaurants and cafes and other dining areas that are close to the water. They will often swoop on to unsuspecting customers steal food right off their plates. The tamer birds are often on rooftops where they can roost in their hundreds. These birds generally flock in large groups and are creatures of habit staying in areas less then 2 km in diameter for their whole life span. They don’t roost in trees or parks or in quiet residential properties during the year. They only do this at nesting time for 3 months of the year. The rest of the time they flock in numbers on the beaches, rivers and foreshores.
The birds are very territorial in the spring months and protect their nests very strongly during the summer as their chicks fatten up and learn to fly. It is essential that when trying to remove these birds you do so in the winter and early spring months as once they have started to roost they are very difficult birds to get rid of. In fact in some cases they become quite dangerous and territorial. They dive bomb to the death if you approach their roosts.
The dropping these birds leave behind have many different forms of stomach acid which can erode and eat into the surfaces of wooden decks, gelcoats on the decks of boats . These birds love the canvas covers of boats, that are so often seen on yachts and powerboats as well as restaurants. The darker the colour, the more they like it as it warms their web feet.
These birds are classic scavengers and hang around most restaurants, marinas, boats, or any place that might have food. In most cases they are pretty tame and quite relaxed around humans. Much to people’s surprise, these birds often eat other living birds or ducks. During breeding season, seagulls are often seen to be working in groups dive-bombing and pecking away at newborn ducks and other water birds such as new cormorants and other smaller birds. When they are tasked with the job of providing food for up to 3 different chicks in their nests, they often will not stop at any length to provide this food for their young. They are very aggressive during nesting season. They will eat small fish when they can but often scraps of food, garbage and waste are often their staple diet. Gulls mate only once per year. They will often lay their eggs in the same spot year after year.
Seagulls are creatures of habit and like very much to stick to the same areas within 1 or 2 km during extended periods of their lives. It is therefore not uncommon to see the same Seagull sit on the same boat or dock for up to 5 years at a time. The good news is that they are relatively easy to scare off apart from in the mating season.
It is essential that any effort to deter these birds is done before mating season begins. Seagulls are a very territorial bird and will often dive-bomb, swoop or attack any approaching person that comes with them 30 m of their nests.
Their nests are made up of old feathers, dry grass, old fishing line, twigs and branches, cloth material and plastic bags.
The good thing is that the birds are quite easily scared away from their area providing they are not in the middle of nesting. This gives you a full period of approximately 9 months to protect your property prior to the all-important nesting periods. In Australia this tends to be the months of September, October, November.
By December to January. the chicks have learnt to fly and are quite mobile so you are able to move the birds on easier from the period of late January through to end August, early September.
The great news about Seagulls are that bird it is it is very easy to deter. Consistent success rates with bio acoustic, visual decoys, and inhibitors have been well documented by our company. The specific type of deterrent to be used will determine on the environment or the customers needs/circumstance. Customers are somewhat spoilt for choice with this particular bird due to its general nature. This is one of the easier birds to deter. Gullsweeps work wonders on boats with good wind access. Bird Spiders stop the birds swooping on to boats or docks and inhibit them landing. For outdoor restaurants and patios, the Bio Acoustic distress calls are very effective and have a very
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