How to Get Rid of Seagull Nests
How Do I Get Rid of Seagulls and Nests on My Roof?
If gulls are creating a problem for your commercial property or business, you’re definitely going to be looking at how to deter the pest birds and also how to get rid of seagull nests.
Hawkeye can deter seagulls from flocking on your property and creating returning colonies by using several methods alone or in combination:
- Falconry (scaring off seagulls using birds of prey)
- Physical deterrents, such as Bird-Shock Flex-Track, bird spikes, bird slides, and bird netting
- Audio deterrents (i.e. pyrotechnics)
- Seagull nest removal
There are two important aspects to seagull nest removal.
The first is obvious: a professional physically removes the seagull nests (and eggs) from the roof of your building, usually during breeding season.
But that’s not the end of it.
You also need to firmly break the habitual imprinting cycle. Due to their nature, seagulls will probably return to the colony site (a.k.a. your roof) the next breeding season. So, there’s a strong chance you’ll need to once again have the professional service remove the nests.
When the nests are removed a second time during breeding season, the birds will be physically unable to re-nest or produce more eggs. They will also be motivated to seek out a new breeding and nesting area the next year, because your roof is no longer considered a safe or desirable home for their colony, after their nests have been removed more than once.
Bird nest removal, combined with deterrent methods, can be very effective in saving your building’s roof and your commercial property from the negative impact of a seagull nesting colony.
Seagull control is a very common issue in public, commercial, and industrial areas of all kinds. It can become an even bigger problem if seagulls have decided that your warehouse roof, for example, is a great place to build their nests, lay their eggs, and raise their young. For that reason, how to get rid of seagull nests can be a significant issue for many businesses.
A seagull nesting area on your commercial property or roof can have a significant impact on your business’ operations, going from a minor pain to a major problem. Specifically, the presence of seagulls and their nests can:
- Gulls remove portions of the roof when nesting which promotes leaks
- HVAC systems get overwhelmed and infested with feathers and feather lice and mites which can severely affect all people with deficient immune systems and breathing problems
- Be a source of noise pollution around your commercial property
- Prevent access to electrical equipment and vents on the roof, especially once chicks are born and gulls are more aggressively protective
- Cause damage to your roofing material, venting, and equipment (seagull droppings are acidic)
- Clog roof drains, setting off flooding
- Promote the growth of moss and algae on your building’s roof or equipment
- Create a health hazard for your commercial goods and also in areas surrounding your business, due to droppings that can carry disease-causing bacteria and the presence of mites, fleas, or ticks
- Become a fire hazard, as gulls use natural materials for their nests and nest in large colonies
- Clog ventilation systems with nest materials and droppings, leading to poor air quality and even carbon monoxide buildup inside your building
- Lead to violation of the Occupational Safety and Health Act
- Present a hazard to low-flying aircraft, if you’re near an airport
So, one way of dealing with these airborne pests and the myriad of problems they can cause for your business is falconry and seagull nest removal.
At Hawkeye Bird and Animal Control Inc., our strategy is to nip seagull nesting in the bud. So, in addition to falconry and bird nest removal, we offer several methods of deterring seagulls from landing or nesting in the first place.
Is It Illegal to Remove Seagull Nests?
The Migratory Birds Convention Act (MBCA) is a Canadian law put in place to protect migratory birds, which includes seagulls.
Under the law, gulls, their eggs, and their nests are shielded from human manipulation, such as possessing them, hunting them, euthanasia, and trafficking. A special permit can be obtained in certain circumstances for these kinds of activities.
This means that it is illegal to conduct seagull nest removal on your commercial property on your own. You need a professional with the right permits to remove the birds’ nests for you.
Why Do Seagulls Nest on Roofs?
Seagulls, while categorized as seabirds, do come inland to nest in urban environments. So, even if your business or property isn’t right by the beach or harbour, you could still end up with a seagull problem.
These opportunistic birds are very adaptable. They’ll travel long distances—100 km or more—to find food, breeding grounds, and nesting areas.
When they come inland, the flat expanse of a commercial building’s roof can look very tempting to a seagull looking to nest, as they like open spaces for their colonies. Throw in some shady areas created by rooftop structures or equipment, an air conditioning unit for a water source, nearby food sources such as landfills, dumpsters, parks, or restaurant parking lots, and lack of human or land-based predators and you have an ideal seagull nesting sanctuary.
Do Seagulls Return to the Same Nest?
Once seagulls have found a safe nesting area with nearby food and water sources, they will return there the next year again for breeding season.
A single gull can live eight to 15 years, depending on the species. And the new generation of seagulls hatched at the breeding site will also return to it to breed and hatch their own chicks. Then that next generation of chicks will also grow up and come back to breed and nest there as well. And so the cycle continues. This kind of behaviour is called habitual imprinting.
So, if the roof of your commercial property has been discovered by some gulls, the chances are good that their offspring will come back the next year, turning into an eternal cycle of seagull nesting…unless that cycle is properly interrupted by a knowledgeable bird control service.
How Long is Seagull Breeding Season?
The usually monogamous seagull will return to its colony area from the previous year a few weeks before nesting starts. Mated pairs will find their same mate and renew their bond. If unpaired, a gull will scope out potential mates and start the courting process.
Breeding season lasts for up to six months, including courting, mating, the process of nest building, incubation, and fledgling season. This starts in March and can continue until about late August.
Seagull pairs will build their nests together, putting together a collection of twigs, grass, seaweed, roofing material and/or whatever they can find close by, including the remains of previous nests. Their nests are low to the ground in open, gravelly or sandy spaces or on a flat rooftop surface. The most common type of rooftop affected by seagull colony nesting is a tar and gravel roof. Seagulls generally nest in colonies, though they can be territorial about the area immediately surrounding their individual nests.
Seagulls will start building nests as soon as they’ve found their mate, so the nest or colony of nests may be on your roof or property for the entire breeding season or just part of it.
How Long Does It Take for a Seagull Chick to Hatch & Learn to Fly?
Each mated pair of seagulls will produce one batch of eggs per year, usually around two to three per brood.
Gull egg incubation can last from 20 to 26 days. The male and female will take turns sitting on their eggs in the nest.
Once seagull chicks have hatched, it can be one or two weeks until they start to grow feathersduring which time at least one of the parents is keeping them warm and guarding them in the nest. And then it’s usually four more weeks before they fledge and are ready to fly, with their parents teaching them how to hunt and scavenge.
Hawkeye’s Seagull Control & Removal Experts
Hawkeye Bird and Animal Control is a bird and animal control company that services residential, commercial, and industrial properties in the Greater Toronto Area, Golden Horseshoe, and many parts of Florida. We manage pest birds, animals, and other nuisance wildlife, including seagull nest removal from commercial rooftops and other property areas. We also offer seagull control using birds of prey/falconry, netting, exclusion, and a variety of deterrent methods using sounds and visuals.
Hawkeye is the only pest bird and animal/wildlife control company in Canada designated "Certified Wildlife Control Professional." We hold the following licenses: Trapping of Fur Bearing Animals Permit, Falconry Permit, and Pest Control License. We are the only company in the GTA allowed to permanently remove nuisance fur bearing animals, while other companies are required to trap and release the animals.