Published on April 8th, 2022 | by The Town Crier0
Like ice cream cones and sand castles, seagulls have traditionally been an essential part of the seaside experience but for many years now that connection has got weaker. These days you are just as likely to see gulls inland in towns and cities as you are by the sea. In the year 2000, it was estimated that 15% of our gulls were nesting in towns.
As pretty noisy neighbours their presence on our office blocks and rooftops is rarely welcomed. Yet this change in habits is largely driven by our own activities. As a trip to the local recycling centre makes very clear, food availability is the key here. As fishing has become more industrialised and more efficient in reducing waste, gulls have increasingly looked to the land for food and what they have found there are our huge landfill sites full of readily accessible supplies. Whether it’s a bag of leftover chips or other food waste, our urban streets often also offer tempting goodies for a hungry gull. And why choose to bring up a family on a cold, windswept cliff when there’s a warm office block near the larder?
Once upon a time finding gulls nesting inland was a very rare event. But these are intelligent and adaptable species, quick to respond to a changing world even if it brings them into conflict with us humans. It is thought the first record of gulls nesting far from the sea is of a pair raising a brood on an old Cornish mill in 1909. Like it or like it not, our Landgulls are now here to stay.