Spread the word!
Gull populations are in decline in the UK and the government has even put them under law protection.
The single best way for you to help seagulls is to raise awareness in other people about difficulties these birds are facing and help stop the hate campaigns these animals are victims of. Individual attitudes are as valuable as government policies when it comes to help the animals in your area. While everyone is entitled to an opinion, we can always help creating informed and educated points of view, especially in young people - who will inherit whatever we leave behind.
Please help us counteract scare/hate campaigns by:
- Continuously sharing the positive knowledge you have about seagulls with people around you;
- Sharing this website (easy sharing links at the bottom of every page);
- And by telling your local council that you do not agree with their anti-seagulls position (if they have one) and wish them to stop.
If you live in Fife, you can contact the council through their online form.
Don’t be a part of the problem
The prejudice against seagulls has its roots mostly in people themselves. By (unintentionally) allowing seagulls to feed on their rubbish bins and waste, and by intentionally feeding them by hand, people contribute to seagulls getting used to humans and becoming bolder, which leads to all the other things people perceive as problems.
Seagulls are perfectly capable of finding food on their own, so if we take care to reduce the amount of rubbish easily available to them, and not feed them by hand so much, we will be doing our part in resolving these issues and having people happily living next to these birds again.
Councils have to do their part as well, and it should start by actually educating people instead of wasting tax-payers’ money in promoting hate against animals.
What to do if you find a fallen chick on the ground
If the young bird is unfeathered or covered in fluffy down (a nestling) and has obviously fallen out of a nest by accident, it may be possible to put it back. Only do this if you are sure which nest the chick came from, and if it appears strong and healthy. Sometimes parent birds sense that there is something wrong with one of their chicks, or that it is dying, and they will eject it out of the nest so they can concentrate on looking after the healthy ones. If a healthy chick cannot be returned to its nest, it will be dependent on humans for survival, and should be passed on to an expert rehabilitator as soon as possible. Contact SSPCA (Scotland) on 03000 999 999, RSPCA (England and Wales) on 0300 1234 999 or USPCA (Northern Ireland) on 028 3025 1000 in this situation.
If the young bird has a full covering of feathers, however, it will likely have left the nest deliberately, and is no longer meant to be in a nest. Such a bird should be left where it is, in the care of its own parents. It’s common in spring and summer to find young seagulls roaming around on the ground and it is perfectly normal for them to leave the nest deliberately before they are able to fly.
However tempting, interfering with a young bird like this will do more harm than good. Chicks are extremely unlikely to be abandoned by their parents. Just because you cannot see the adult birds does not mean that they are not there. The parents are probably just away collecting food - or are hidden from view nearby keeping a watchful eye, or even been frightened away from their youngster by your presence. Chicks should be left where they are, in the care of their own parents. Removal of a chick from the place where you find it is a very last resort, and then only if it is injured, if it has definitely been abandoned or orphaned, or if the place where it is poses a definite threat to it. If the bird is on a busy path or road, or other potentially dangerous, exposed location, it makes sense to pick it up and move it a short distance to a safer place. Make sure you leave it within hearing distance of where it was found. Birds have a poor sense of smell so handling a young bird does not cause its parents to abandon it but they will if they cannot hear and find them. If the bird is injured or definitely abandoned, the best thing to do is to contact your local wildlife support organisation - SSPCA (Scotland) on 03000 999 999, RSPCA (England and Wales) on 0300 1234 999 or USPCA (Northern Ireland) on 028 3025 1000.
What to do if you find an injured seagull
If you find an injured seagull (or any other animal) please contact your local wildlife support organisation as soon as possible and follow their instructions - SSPCA (Scotland) on 03000 999 999, RSPCA (England and Wales) on 0300 1234 999 or USPCA (Northern Ireland) on 028 3025 1000.
Note: Some of the texts in this page have been adapted from RSPB’s website, all credits to them.
Consider donating to a local wildlife conservation organisation. Many of these smaller organisations do amazing work which sometimes is nothing short of a miracle, considering how limited their funds are. They really appreciate any help sent their way.