Hawks could tackle Hyndland gulls menace

Added on Wednesday 25 Jul 2012

The chairman of Hyndland Residents' Association is demanding action against the noisy flocks of seagulls said to be making life a misery for local people - and says birds of prey could be a solution.

David Mullane, writing in The Herald newspaper, says Hyndland tenement roofs are "colonised" by nesting gulls which emit "cacophonous squawks" at all times of the day and night.

He said: "There are companies who will provide hawks to scare the birds off," but adds: "If we were successful in getting the gulls to stop colonising our roofs we would be passing them on to disturb the peace of our neighbours." Mr Mullane concedes a main problem in dealing with gulls is that they're a protected species - a point also noted in neighbouring Renfrewshire, where residents in Erskine say they're regularly attacked in the street by birds swooping down without warning.

The area's MSP, Mary Fee, wrote both to Renfrewshire Council and the Scottish Government seeking action after householders told her that seagulls were the most pressing concern in the area.

As in Hyndland and other parts of the West End the gulls nest on local roofs and scavenge for food in bins, strewing litter across the streets.

However Renfrewshire Council says there are strict limits to what local authorities can do about seagulls.

A spokesman said: "Local authorities have no statutory duties in terms of taking action about seagulls. In addition all birds, eggs and their nests are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

The Act does not allow action against birds for the prevention of damage to property or nuisance problems, ie noise or smell. Only non-lethal methods may be used to prevent nuisance problems"