About Dan Frankian

about dan frankian

Dan Frankian is an accomplished falconer, using his skills to provide a natural alternative to chemical and product driven Bird, Animal, and Pest Control in the Toronto and Golden Horseshoe Area... Read more »

More Blog Articles

The Biggest Misconceptions About Gulls Nesting on Roofs

Many people think they know how to address gulls nesting on roofs.

While these birds can seem harmless from afar, their nesting habits can cause problems for homeowners. From noise and mess to considerable damage, dealing with gulls nesting on your roof is a task you'll want to tackle sooner rather than later.

Naturally, it’s easy to think that you can get all your questions answered with a quick Google search– but that’s not always the case.

seagulls on roof

What You Need to Know About Gulls

In urban areas, gulls often find flat rooftops to be ideal nesting spots, because rooftops mimic their natural cliff habitats, offering a safe place to raise their young away from ground based predators.

They’re also attracted to areas near water sources like lakes, rivers, and coastlines, which is where they feast on fish and other marine life.

Gulls are also relatively social birds that often nest in colonies, especially during breeding season. This behavior allows them to protect their nests from predators and communicate with other gulls in the area.

So, why do gulls nest on roofs?

Why Do Gulls Nest?

Like many birds, gulls nest to lay eggs and raise their young in a safe environment, staying protective and defending them from potential threats.

Flat, elevated surfaces (like rooftops) are a perfect place to build their nests, providing them with a clear vantage point to watch for predators and allowing them to avoid ground-based threats.

Gulls are opportunistic nesters, meaning they’ll use whatever materials are available to them, including natural materials like twigs, rocks, and gravel, as well as man-made materials like plastic and paper.

Gull nesting is also tied to their breeding cycles, which are influenced by seasonal changes. In general, gulls breed in the Great Lakes region from late March until late June, with chicks moving around until August in the Great Lakes, USA, and Canada region.

The nesting process typically begins with picking a nesting site, followed by nest-building, egg-laying, incubation, and finally, the fledging of the chicks.

What You Need to Know About Gulls Nesting on Roofs.

They’ll Show Signs They’re Around.

Start by looking for signs of nesting activity, like nests, feathers, and droppings. These can indicate the presence of gulls and the location of their nests. Also note the number of gulls and their behavior, as a large number of gulls or aggressive behavior may indicate a more serious problem. Probably the clearest indicator is finding sea gull poop on your roofing, your windows, or your vehicle!

If you live in the Great Lakes region or near any body of water and see seagulls on a regular basis, inspecting your roof at least twice a month in spring is a must.

Gulls will cause damage to roofs and buildings by pecking at roofing materials and creating tiny holes. You will only find that damage once the nest is removed… it will be directly beneath the nest. Every time they build a nest and peel back a bit of roofing material, the structure of the roof is compromised. Water will seep in and through the created holes and get trapped inside the roof insulation and contaminate the entire roof and ceiling of the building. 

On flat roofs, air conditioning, or ventilation systems, any fans or air intake vents also suffer greatly from seagull nesting damage and associated seagull droppings. These systems get impacted with layers of poop. Air circulation will either stop or distribute contaminated air, posing great danger to anyone afflicted with respiratory diseases or severe allergies. Headaches, eye, throat, and skin irritation are also quite common. Twigs and nesting materials will block drains and allow water to pool, until reaching the edge of a flat roof or flood your eaves and downspouts.

Once you do see a clear sign of nesting, you’ll need to immediately contact a professional who will help you obtain the necessary permit for you to have the gulls and/or nests removed. Doing this type of work without a permit will result in steep fines. Permits will take up to three weeks to process.

Please note that once there are eggs in a nest, additional permits are required. These permits will ONLY be issued to professionals.

Not All Natural Prevention Methods Work.

If you’ve found that gulls are nesting on your roof, you need to understand that only Bird Shock Flex Track can successfully deter seagulls from landing and nesting on your residential or peaked roof. Bird wire can be installed on industrial buildings in warmer climates only. Ice and snow will break down the wire. 

What you can do on your own.

Regularly clean your roof and gutters to remove debris and standing water, which can attract gulls. Use a broom or leaf blower to remove leaves, twigs, and other debris from your roof.

Hire a Bird Control Specialist for More Advanced Prevention Measures.

Our team can employ advanced techniques to remove seagulls from a roof, the most common being Birds of Prey.

We also use pyrotechnics in non residential areas to deter birds from roosting or nesting in unwanted areas such as on roofs. Pyrotechnic devices, such as bird bangers or screamers, are launched into the air and produce loud noises and bright flashes that frighten birds and drive them away. However, pyrotechnics need to be used with utmost caution around roofs and nesting materials to avoid fires.

We often use this in combination with falconry to discourage birds from returning to the area.

Frequently Asked Questions: Gulls Nesting On My Roof

Are seagulls dangerous to have around my property?

Seagulls are generally not considered dangerous to humans, but they can become aggressive if they feel threatened, especially during nesting season. They can divebomb small dogs causing injury or death.  They are attracted to food and can viciously attack people dining outside. Birds may present with Avian Flu and their droppings can also carry diseases and may cause damage to property.

From a monetary perspective, gulls can be quite costly. Consider that roof repair due to seagull damage will cost you between $12 and $22 per square foot. This does not include the cost to damaged or compromised solar panels.

Are seagulls protected in Canada, and can I remove their nests?

Yes, seagulls are protected under the Migratory Birds Convention Act, which prohibits the removal of active nests without a permit. 

How long do seagull nests remain active?

Seagull nests remain active during the breeding season, which can last from the middle of March until the end of August. Once the breeding season is over and the chicks have fledged, the nests are no longer in use. If left, the same nest will be used in the following year. A ready made nest will not only attract the parents who made it but also their now adult offspring. In the span of one year, the number of seagulls can easily double.

image of eggs in seagull nestHow many eggs do seagulls lay?

Seagulls typically lay 2-4  eggs per clutch, although this can vary depending on the species. The eggs are incubated for about 20-30 days depending on temperature before hatching.

How long do seagull chicks stay in the nest?

Seagull chicks stay in the nest for up to 35 days, depending on species and temperature, during which time they are cared for by their parents. After this period, they are able to fly and are considered fledglings.

Contact Hawkeye for Gulls and How to Stop Them Nesting on Your Roof

If you're dealing with a persistent gull nesting problem, it is time to call in the professionals. Hawkeye offers professional bird control services, including humane removal of gulls and their nests.

Contact us for a thorough assessment and customized bird control solution for your property.


Request a call-back


In Ontario, Hawkeye offers Bird control, Animal control, Wildlife removal services and products in: