A good majority of us have come in contact with these birds at some time in our life, but what more do we know about them than them being a slight nuisance? In order to protect ourselves and keep our communities safe it may be necessary to learn a little background on these majestic and sometimes troublesome birds.

Recognizing the Seagull

seagullWhile size and weight may vary among species, it is said the average seagull weighs about 4 pounds. Coloration of the birds may vary. Many of us would say the majority of the gulls are entirely grey or white, marked with black spots along their head and wings. Their bodies, at first glance, may appear rather heavy, but are perfect for hovering or for quick take off with little legroom. Long wings, webbed feet and hooked bills all allow the seagull to thrive in environments where swimming, flying and walking are necessary for survival. You may recognize the bird audibly by its loud and aggressive squawking or wailing.

Seagulls are well known for their intelligence and will use it for whatever they may need to obtain. This may include food or in defending their families. Some noted behaviors include tricking worms to come to surfaces inland by stomping the ground in groups (this gives the illusion of rainfall for the worms), or by breaking mollusks open over rocks to prepare them for food. In nesting, many gulls will aggressively drive out potential threats to their families.

Habitat & Nesting

Unlike many species, seagulls are found all around the world, in all regions and habitats. They are even found in places such as Antarctica and in deserts where there is little to no water. As a general rule, seagulls will not travel too far out to sea for lack of food and thrive less on islands for this reason as well. Because of their adaptability, seagulls can reside wherever so they may chose and their nests will likely thrive regardless of circumstances.

Seagulls nest very close together, in densely packed colonies, and will defend their nests by all means. Although while this is true, some may also be seen nesting among other birds, only if the birds are non-hazardous to the family and the other seagulls in the community. Communities may range from a few pairs of families to hundreds of thousands of pairs, all varying on location. Seagulls usually mate over the course of 3 to 5 months and are generally said to nest from the months of April to August. They create nests wherever they are able, which may include cliffs, trees and often times, residential rooftops.

Seagulls will take about 2 to 4 years to grow into full adulthood and most often do not live to see past the age of 50 years.

Diet

The diet of the seagull is very adaptable. As mentioned before, these creatures openly adapt to their surroundings as needed. While on land, seagulls may pursue food that includes bugs, worms, rodents, reptiles, plants, and waste from residential areas. On the water, seagulls will dive for fish and other marine life, as well as prey on whale flesh, which they will pick upon and eat whenever the whale surfaces. In addition to these sources of food, seagulls will also seek other opportunities for food. With their intelligence, these birds often times use bread and other items to lure prey into their presence for feasting.

Seagulls are particularly unique in that they also can drink salt water as well as freshwater. They have a gland which filters the salt out via their bills, again confirming and showcasing their versatility.

Potential Problems with Seagulls in NJ

These birds often travel in large groups, and for this reason, many places are affected negatively by them.

Places such as trash and dump sites experience problems from regurgitated bones and non-digestive pieces from the bird’s diet, which build up significantly over time.

Harbors and piers experience problems with these birds in that these birds will often feast upon what they have caught for the day. On piers as well, and in urban areas, the seagull's droppings can cause damage to areas and erode them. Streetlamps, rooftops and boats are all damaged due to the large population of these birds. Droppings can also create slip hazards for humans, as well carry diseases that can harm humans, due to bacteria.

Seagulls seek flat surfaces such as roofs and buildings to rest and this means integrated living with humans, where we must share the environment in a negative way. When resting and building nests in these areas, feathers and other waste items are left behind that interfere with drains and water sources in the community.

In the places where insects may be abundant, seagulls are attracted quickly and will bring their families with them to feast. This is a problem for the homeowner or area's residents. Many will complain to authorities about the noisiness of the seagull, and that it interferes with their peace at home. They are also aggressive in residential areas and on beaches.

Seagulls can also create hazards for many low flying planes in the area.

Alliance Pest Services is your leading Seagull deterrent provider.  We offer several seagull control and deterrent solutions to keep your home, rooftop, marina, boats and HVAC units Seagull free.