Thursday 8 December 2016

Troublesome seagulls are being good parents, say bird experts

Published 23/07/2015 | 02:30

Gulls become aggravated when chicks learn how to fly
Gulls become aggravated when chicks learn how to fly

Don't blame the seagulls - as bird experts claim their "aggressive behaviour" is simply down to them being "good parents".

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Niall Hatch, of Birdwatch Ireland, says the reason the pesky seabirds are hitting the headlines exactly one year after a Fianna Fàil senator last complained of their antics is "no coincidence".

"It comes to light this time every year because their chicks are learning to fly and they become aggravated," Mr Hatch said.

"They are just concerned parents like us. They become more worried and start making lots of noise because they care for their young.

"There are more seagulls in the city during the winter months, but it is never an issue then."

Mr Hatch insists that the population of the endangered birds has dropped by almost 50pc in the past 20 years.

Habitats

However, he admits more are flocking to the city.

"Their natural habitats are the islands off the coast, but these have become overrun by mink and rats so they are coming inland," he explained.

It seems the pesky birds have decided to fight back and have even invaded the Dáil in protest at those calling for their imminent demise.

A seagull chick that was born on the roof of Leinster House entered the building yesterday.

Fianna Fáil Senator Denis O'Donovan says a full debate is needed and has vowed not to stop until action has been taken.

The Cork politician declared that he will pick up where his party colleague Ned O'Sullivan left off last year, adding his intention to pursue the "rogue gulls for as long as it takes."

"Everybody laughed at Ned at the time, but this is serious. We really need a solid debate on this," said Senator O'Donovan.

Irish Independent

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