As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Seagulls head to big city not for better homes, but more abundant food

Date: June 2, 2016
Source: Taylor & Francis

Being bothered by gulls while eating our chips is a problem most city-dwellers have encountered. Now, scientists have reported in the journal Bird Study that concentrating on making food supplies less accessible may prove more effective at countering these 'nuisance events' than removing rooftop nesting.

The researchers, based at Buijs Eco Consult B.V., Oud-Vossemeer, The Netherlands, and the Institute of Environmental Biology, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands, studied a nearby colony of gulls in The Hague in 2014. By tracking colour-ringed gulls throughout the study area, the researchers were able to monitor numbers and behaviours during different breeding phases.

Conflicts between gulls and human populations are a particular problem in seaside towns, with noise, defecation, aggression and destruction of rubbish bags all highlighted as problems. The increase in urban breeding colonies in the Netherlands is thought to be due to increased predication of the gulls in their natural breeding grounds by the red fox.

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