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Egg-citing efforts to tackle growing city seagull threat.

They are a winged menace, often operating in gangs, swooping on innocent bystanders, stealing food from the hands of children and are breeding at an alarming rate.

The seagull has made the rooftops of Birmingham its home and complaints of ''mobbing'' by the aggressive birds are growing.

Now council pest controllers have vowed to fight back against the menace and have even considered the use of laser beams to deter the gulls.

Other options include shooting, drugs, distressing sounds, birds of prey, scarecrows, and removing nests and the use of narcotics.

But after ruling these methods out they will replace the eggs with artificial ones to fool the birds to remain in their nests and out of harm's way.

A six-month trial begins in the Jewellery Quarter in March - the area from where most complaints have been received.

Head of environmental health Mark Croxford believes Birmingham is the first inland local authority to look at tackling the urban gull menace.

He said: "We are used to dealing with rats and mice, but there has been a sharp increase in complaints about gulls, and we had no way of dealing with them.

"The herring gull has been almost as successful as human at adapting to the urban environment, they see buildings as artificial cliffs and an ideal place to breed. They are not afraid of people and will travel hundreds of miles from the nest to forage.

"We will see if the artificial egg has any impact, and if it does then can use it more widely and advise businesses to take their own action."
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Feb 17, 2011
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