Aberdeen residents have been urged not to feed the gulls to stop them from becoming a bigger nuisance.
The numbers of herring gulls and lesser black-backed gulls have grown in the city, with some visitors regarding them as a nuisance.
Every year, Aberdeen City Council receive dozens of complaints about the animals, including noise, damage to property and safety.
In 2019, the local authority received 139 complaints and in 2018 147.
However, the council has no statutory powers to take action against the gulls and can only give advice to members of the public.
Gulls are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, which means it is illegal to capture, injure or destroy any wild bird, or interfere with its nest or eggs, unless you have a licence.
An Aberdeen City Council spokeswoman said: “When people discard unwanted food and containers particular in the city centre or near takeaway food outlets, that attracts the gulls so we’d ask people to dispose of their waste in a bin.
“In addition, people are also deliberately feeding the gulls.
“Our environmental health service has no statutory powers to take action against the gulls and the key to reducing gull numbers lies in reducing the ability to breed and limiting the supply of food.
“In addition, too much human food is not good for them and can lead to them attacking people to steal food. Their natural diet is based on shellfish, other small sea creatures, earth worms, bird’s eggs and insects
“We’d encourage people to heed the advice and play their part particularly not to feed the birds.”
Advice for residents how they can help includes:
- Do not feed gulls on streets and gardens or drop food scraps, as gulls are scavengers and discarded food encourages the gulls to stay within close proximity to the food source. Dispose of food waste in a responsible manner;
- Property owners can discourage gulls from nesting by erecting deterrent devices on chimney heads and flat roof areas such as spikes and nets;
- You can arrange for an appropriately licenced pest control company to oil or pierce eggs to prevent hatching, or have the nest and eggs removed.
More information can be found at the City Council website.