All posts tagged: gulls

‘They’re here at our invitation’: how gulls took over the UK’s cities | Birds

[ad_1] They tear open rubbish bags looking for food, swoop down on passersby and steal their sandwiches, and even swallow rats and squirrels whole. Many people complain about the menace of urban gulls, but with the wild populations of some species in severe decline, our parks and high streets are increasingly the only places where gulls are thriving. So should we fear these plucky scavengers or admire them? One of the UK’s leading urban gull experts, Peter Rock, is the man to ask. He has been attaching identification colour-rings to gull nestlings in Bristol, Bath, Cardiff, Gloucester and other towns and cities since 1980. Peter Rock has been tracking urban gulls for more than 40 years. Photograph: Adrian Sherratt/The Guardian “It doesn’t matter what I’m wearing, they recognise me – even year to year,” says Rock, entering a flat-roofed college building where several pairs of gulls build their nests. “Roughly translated, they are saying: ‘Get off our land.’” Armed with a net, some pliers and a string of identification tags, Rock plans to catch recently …