Advice given to minimise seagull disruption during bird breeding season

You could be handed a prison sentence for disturbing or harming birds in Jersey. Credit: PA Images

Islanders have been given advice on how to limit disruption and damage from seagulls as they begin their breeding season.

The birds are protected under the Wildlife (Jersey) Law 2021, making it an offence to cause harm or disturbance to the birds, including their young and eggs.

Anyone who deliberately disturbs or harms wild gulls risks up to two years in prison and a penalty fine.

There has been a global decline in seabirds in recent years, with gulls being put on the amber list for conservation concern.

To prevent any disruption to islanders and their homes, Jersey's government has offered advice to limit any issues as we enter chick season.

What can you do to prevent gull nests?

  • Check your roof for gull activity in the coming weeks, especially if gulls have previously nested in your area. Advise your neighbours if you see gulls on their roof.

  • Take early action if necessary by contacting a licensed controller. Once eggs have hatched the removal of nests will mean killing the chicks. This is not an acceptable long-term solution and causes unnecessary distress.

  • Remove all unintended food sources and protect your rubbish.

  • Do not feed gulls as it is illegal in most situations and can cause many problems.

  • Consider long-term preventative action to protect your roof to stop nesting - a licensed controller will be able to advise on options.

If measures do not work, islanders are advised to leave gull chicks alone and contact the Environment department.

Officials can issue licences to allow professional controllers to remove active nests but only in situations where they are causing serious damage to property. Gull chicks leave the nest at an early stage and it can be common to find a chick on the ground.

A parent is likely to be nearby and can be aggressive - an uninjured chick must be left where it is in the care of its own parents.

If you find an injured gull, islanders are advised to call the JSPCA.

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