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.

Thursday, 20 June 2019

This is what the council is doing to control the seagull population in Bath

The birds have long been a nuisance to residents

Jillian MacMath Trending And Advance Content Writer
14:56, 19 JUN 2019
UPDATED15:31, 19 JUN 2019

Summertime in Bath is synonymous with outdoor BBQs and picnics in the park, as well as an influx of tourists hoping to soak in the best of the World Heritage city.

But as more people flock to public spaces, so do the city's seagulls.

According to the last count in 2018, the city of Bath is home to 835 breeding pairs of gulls.

And their presence in the city is not always welcomed by residents and visitors.

Many regard the birds as pests, who steal food left outside and spread litter.

Because of this, Bath and Northeast Somerset Council takes steps each year to mitigate the chaos they cause - and to keep the population from booming.

But the issue is a complex one, as the gulls are granted certain protections and come to the city for more than just your leftover chips.

"We've created big beaches in the skies"

It’s a common assumption that gulls come to Bath for food - be it from diners chowing down outside, or vulnerable rubbish bags.

But according to the experts at the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), this isn’t actually their motivation.

“It’s nothing to do with food,” RSPB spokesman Tony Whitehead told Bath.Live.

“They are attracted to urban areas because of really safe nesting places.

"They nest high up on the roofs, away from any potential predators like foxes or voles.”

Sprawling rooftops above the city are as desirable to the birds as a sheltered beach, he said.

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