Attacks By Seagulls

escargot

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This was on R4 just now. One woman interviewed won't leave her house without carrying a broom to beat off aggressive seagulls and newspaper deliveries have ceased as the kids are too scared of being pecked as they ride along.

Residents of the seaside town of Monkseaton have become terrified of leaving their homes following a series of attacks by seagulls.

'In scenes which they say are reminiscent of The Birds, the Alfred Hitchcock film, the seagulls have knocked a woman to the ground and left a man with neck wounds.

Residents in the North Tyneside town, are afraid to take their dogs for walks or let their children out to play.

The seagulls have been a problem for years, but the council has been unable to take action because they are protected by law. This year the attacks have got worse.

One resident, Catherine Rogan, refused to go into her backyard after it was taken over by seagulls. "I went out there last week and two went for me," she said. "They forced me on to the floor. It's hard to believe, but we really are prisoners in our own homes."

Another villager, Kelly Hewison, said: "The seagulls are very scary. Taking the dog for a walk is a nightmare because as soon as they see a dog they go mad, and you can get up to half a dozen of them taking it in turns to have a go."

The gulls have been nesting in residents' chimneys and are very protective of their young. It is believed that more attacks occur during the summer breeding season.'
 
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Anonymous

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yep big problem round here...friends up the road picked up a chick and put it on shed roof away from cats...now the parents attack them every time they see them. They go down the garden waveing a broom about to keep em off, my advice was really wave it about and dispose of em once and for all.... a woman on Falmouth quey had a chip snatched from her mouth by a gull and she needed stiches!
 

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Where I live seagulls aren't too bad, they're mainly an irritation if you try to feed the smaller birds (they come, scare them away and eat everything, so you need a special feeder that only small birds can use). On Thursday I went to McDonalds in Kirkcaldy though, and thought "I'll have a Big Mac, I've not done that for a while" and during buying it thought "I'm quite warm, I'll sit outside and eat this", which was my first mistake.
A million pigeons (alright, a slight exaggeration ;) ) descended on me and wanted fed. They even got up on the chair and approached slowly. After one landed on my arm (putting me in mind of the way birds of prey land on falconer's arms) I decided I'd had enough and left.
 

escargot

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I live well inland and have never heard of seagulls attacking people before. It must be very frightening. The poor dogs and cats are being attacked too, it seems. I'd buy an airgun. :mad:
 

brianellwood

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You're asking for trouble if you take out a sandwich anywhere outside in St.Ives (Cornwall), and a pasty...well, they live on them. I don't think they ever go out to sea to feed. It's been a growing problem for several years now, and even though there are notices around asking you not to feed the gulls, people still throw their bits of food on the ground, especially families with small children, who feed the nice birdies with bits of their kids' snacks.
"A Gull on the Roof"? Not romantic in Cornish seaside towns, Mr, Tangye! :D
 

escargot

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Aw, Mr Tangye. His 'A Cat In The Window' was the first cat book I ever read. Beautiful. :sob:
 
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According to the IOS a few months back, here in Bristol we have one of the biggest urban seagull problems in Europe. Highrise balconies have to be netted off and people are often attacked.It's not just the aggression that you get during breeding season either, but the incessant 'squeak, squeak squeak' of adolescent gull chicks. They will stand in a prominant position(such as the top of the dutch gable two doors up) and do it for HOURS, like someone trying to blow up a leaky air-bed.
A while ago Bunny and I walked past a seagull on a street corner eating a kebab. Out of the box. Meat, salad, pitta, the lot. It gave us an arrogant look as if to say 'What?!I bought this myself!'

I'm with Escargot, if they start attacking me I'll get Dad to lend me an air-rifle!
 
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shamed to say i once shot one with an air pistol.... we were liveing on the boat and this damed thing just sat 3inches away from my sleeping head and when i banged on the sides it flew off , straight round to land again... and it was dropping rancid crab remains all over the boat...anyway..the air pistol knocked it over but the pellet bounced off and just anoyed the gull.
 
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My ex bf and i went down to Lynmouth on the bike one Saturday. We bought fish and chips and sat on the wall looking out to sea while trying to eat. After so much hassle being bombarded by seagulls and being nearly shit on more than once, i gave up with the remaining chips, emptied them onto the sand and put my helmet back on. :rolleyes:
 

Electric_Monk

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Bah, you shouldn't have dropped the chips, that'll just teach them that "harrassing/attacking people" equates to "lots more food", so they'll be even more likely to do it the next time ;)
 

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Makes my heroic tale of being sh*t upon the head by a pigeon in St Mark's Square in Venice look a little feeble. :splat:
 
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Bah, you shouldn't have dropped the chips, that'll just teach them that "harrassing/attacking people" equates to "lots more food", so they'll be even more likely to do it the next time

I'd ceased to enjoy either the chips or the atmosphere of the day. I wasn't going to sit there holding onto them while they got cold or carry them around with me so i could be harrassed even further.
 

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Bloody seagulls,send 'em back to sea where they belong.They really are a bloody menace.
 
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I put my hands up and admit that I'm not an animal lover (I have a water pistol to scare cats out of my garden, cannot stand the creatures :devil: and if the neighbours cat wants to sh*t in a garden it can go and use it's own), if this was my street and my kids were being terrosied I would have put poison down by now...and brought myself an air rifle.
 

rynner2

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Seagulls steal sandwiches from South Shields shoppers
By Laura Clout
Last Updated: 5:26PM BST 07/07/2008

Shoppers in a seaside town are being terrorised by a flock of greedy seagulls, who swoop on the unwary to steal their food.

Descending from the skies in a flurry of feathers, one bird seized its chance and made off with this woman's sandwich in King Street, South Shields.

The 27-year-old, from Northumberland, said: "I jumped out of my skin.

"All I was doing was trying to eat my sandwich and I get attacked by a giant seagull.

"It was quite scary - I had no idea they were so ruthless. It was like that Alfred Hitchcock film, The Birds."

Another shopper Maisie Harrison, 68, from Whiteleas, said: "These seagulls are so desperate for food it seems they'll approach people to take food rather than fight for scraps on the floor."

Catriona Campbell, 19, a sales assistant who works in the street said: "They are horrible. I once saw one land on a man's head. It just reached over and grabbed his pasty out of his hand then flew off.

"It happens all the time. It's because people don't dispose of their left over food properly and the seagulls take advantage of an easy meal."

A spokesman for South Tyneside Council council said: "Seagulls are opportunistic birds that at this time of the year have the additional responsibility of feeding their young.

"While the council has in the past spent money on proofing some of the buildings in King Street to prevent birds from nesting and has also placed signage within this area advising members of the public not to feed birds, we cannot guarantee that this sort of incident will not occur occasionally."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstop ... ppers.html

I had a pasty stolen by a gull a year or two ago. So I can offer this practical advice: when eating in the open, do not face or walk into the wind. This makes it easy for gulls to glide in behind you, where you don't see them coming, grab the food and fly off. In my case, I felt a gentle thump on my shoulder, and my pasty was gone! :evil:
 

LaurenChurchill

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Do you guys have the same kind of seagulls as we have here in Aus?
Coz the ones around here are a bit of a pain but they're not aggressive or anything. They just sit around screeching until they get fed.
I quite like them actually. They're elegant.

I saw a guy a few years back at the beach hooking them with a fishing rod. I almost cried. I had a go at him and called the cops but by the time they got there he was well gone
 

rynner2

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I just witnessed another avian robbery!

A woman was sitting on a wide bench, eating a sandwich. A gull came walking up behind her, grabbed the sandwich and (as the woman was facing the wind) spread his wings and took off!

The main culprits are the big gulls, black-backed and herring gulls, mostly the latter.
 

rynner2

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LaurenChurchill said:
Do you guys have the same kind of seagulls as we have here in Aus?
Coz the ones around here are a bit of a pain but they're not aggressive or anything. They just sit around screeching until they get fed.
I quite like them actually. They're elegant.
Look, you've got salties, box jellyfish, poisonous snake and spiders - you don't need gulls with attitude (and salmonella, probably) as well!

Although you're quite welcome to them.... :twisted:
 

rynner2

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Oh, the irony...

Seagulls delay £260 million tunnel
By Urmee Khan
Last Updated: 6:29AM BST 10/07/2008

A nesting seagull has halted work on a £260 million road tunnel, it has been revealed.
The herring gull was discovered nesting in the chimney of a pub set for demoliton to make way for the new Tyne Tunnel, which will span the river from Jarrow to North Shields.

However, wildlife laws have halted plans to demolish the Gas Light pub, a 200-year-old inn, on Commercial Row, Jarrow, South Tyneside.

The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 protects all wild birds, their nests and their eggs.

Tunnel scheme company TT2 said it would give the gull space to raise her chicks in peace.

"Work has not ground to a halt but it has been delayed, possibly for as much as a couple of months," said TT2 spokesman Tamsin Greulich.

"We were due to demolish The Gas Light but are instead going to work around it, for the time being.

"We cleared away all the trees in January and February in order not to disturb nesting birds - but overlooked the pub.

"Now the mother gull sits there on top of the chimney stack, keeping a close eye on what's going on, and we're going to leave her be until the chicks have gone," he added.

The developers recently faced a similar problem with a nesting ringed plover at Howdon, North Tyneside, the bird has now moved on.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/new.../Seagulls-delay-and163260-million-tunnel.html
 

rynner2

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Heavens above! The vicar forced to wear a hard hat to church to protect himself from seagulls
By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 5:23 PM on 16th July 2008

It is not traditional garb for a man of the cloth.

But Rev Canon Graham Minors has been forced to don a bright yellow hard hat to protect him from two new additions to his flock.

The vicar has to rush through his churchyard in order to avoid the attentions of a pair of angry seagulls diving down from the heavens.

The fearsome birds perch on the church roof and swoop down on unsuspecting members of the congregation and even mourners in the graveyard.

They began their aerial onslaughts after setting up a nest and raising a chick in the grounds of St Petroc's Church, in Bodmin, Cornwall.

The over-protective animals now regularly stand guard of their fledgling by perching on top of two ancient stone crosses on the roof of the 15th Century church.

They then fly and flap their wings at anyone who approaches - swooping just above their heads to scare them away.

Rev Minors, 63, says the attacks have become so fierce he has been forced to don a hard hat every time he enters or leaves the church.

He said: 'When they spot someone coming up the path they begin to squawk very loudly and if you don't stop they dive-bomb.

'It is very scary because they're really quite large and powerful birds that could deliver a nasty peck if they got the chance.

'It isn't an ideal situation because some of the congregation are very elderly and don't appreciate being attacked.

'The nest is in the churchyard and if anyone who goes in to visit a grave they go even more berserk.

'I had to start wearing a hard hat because I'm coming and going all the time in the course of my duties. The seagulls are quite alarming when they swoop in.'

He continued: 'On the upside, at least the gulls are being good parents and trying to protect their young. You can't begrudge them that.

'We're hoping that once the fledgling leaves they'll calm down a bit and leave. Until then I'm content to look like Bob the Builder with a dog collar on.'

The aggressive attacks began two weeks ago after the fledgling was hatched in a nest behind some old gravestones leaning against a wall in the churchyard.

Some churchgoers now place bowls of tuna fish at the side of the graveyard in a bid to tempt the seagulls away so they can dash into the church unharmed.

St Petroc's is the largest parish church in Cornwall and as well as its congregation it is a popular spot for tourists - who have also come under attack.

Visitor Peter Glaser said: 'They really are frightening. As soon as I turned the corner of the churchyard one of them flew towards me and I had to duck.

'I was terrified and stood with my back against the wall. I was worried that if I went too close they would come and peck me.'

Rev Minors also believes the birds may be confused - because according to the Bible it is another species which has God on its side.

He said: 'The Bible says that 'a swallow may find a nest for herself, where she may have her young near your altars'.

'Well these seagulls couldn't find a place in the house of God so they chose the next best thing - the graveyard.'

Seagulls are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, making it an offence to kill the birds or interfere with their nests.

According to the RSPB, the bird's population has dropped 40 per cent in the past 30 years due to over fishing and other factors.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... gulls.html
 

rynner2

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From The Sunday Times January 4, 2009

The rise of the urban seagull
Seagulls are thriving in cities — attacking people, deafening residents, damaging buildings, spreading panic and disease. By 2014 there could be as many as 6m of this new urban menace
Richard Girling

...Long article: some snippets follow...

Herring gulls are huge birds, each one a kilo in weight with a wingspan of 4 1/2ft. A thousand of them in the air together are a tonne of hardened muscle wielding a terrifying armoury of beak and claw. And there are many more here than a thousand. Exponentially more. We are heading into a zone where gulls not only outnumber their human neighbours, but outweigh them. Gull city.

The city of the future. The way things are heading, Britain’s town centres are going to be overrun by an army of voracious and aggressive birds that will hold the rooftops against all-comers. They have already made headlines with their attacks on humans, whose heads they slash, raking them with their claws at 40mph, and they are notorious for the sleep-defying intensity of their cries, the corrosive damage caused to buildings and cars by their droppings, and their cargoes of disease.

What began as a nuisance is becoming a pestilence. Fifty breeding pairs in a town are all it takes to make a deleterious impact, and many already are way beyond that. As long ago as 2004, Swindon had 87 pairs, Cheltenham 151, Worcester 342, Bath 536, Newport 800, Bristol 1,933, Gloucester 1,996 and Cardiff 3,103.
.....
Aberdeen, Cardiff and Gloucester are all strong candidates for the first 5,000-pair colony. Five thousand pairs means not only 10,000 adult birds yelling, defecating and racing for food, but also between 10,000 and 15,000 permanently hungry offspring and 4,500 immature non-breeders — a grand total of nearly 30,000 gulls. You don’t need to be a student of Hitchcock to recognise the potential for violent conflict.

Urban nesting by gulls in Britain is a new phenomenon. Before the second world war it was unknown, but at the current rate Britain will have more than a million breeding pairs by 2014. Two species are on the march: the herring gull, Larus argentatus, and the lesser black-backed gull, L. fuscus. They are of similar size and both need to eat 15% of their body weight daily. In urban Britain this is as easy as breathing. Gull city is gull heaven.
....
[At a landfill site near Bristol] First up is a nine-year-old herring gull that he sees here regularly. Then a lesser black-backed of the same age not seen since July; an eight-year-old herring gull not seen since May; a seven-year-old absent since January… All have one thing in common. Like hundreds of thousands of others across the country, they seldom feel the ruffle of a sea breeze. Every last one of them was born in town, where their high intelligence and ruthless aggression are now causing panic. If the first prerequisite of a successful campaign is to know your enemy, then urban Britain is in for a tough fight.
...
Textbooks will have to be rewritten. By nature, the lesser black-backed gull is a migratory species that spends its winters around the coasts of Iberia and north Africa. But given the warmth and ease of urban living, fewer and fewer are making the trip. By Peter Rock’s calculation, more than a third now live here permanently. As this confers a significant breeding advantage — they get the pick of the nesting sites — Darwinian theory says the residents will become the dominant strain and so the pressure on towns will increase exponentially.
....
The RSPB argues that gulls do not attack humans but only “protect their nests”. Problem is, the nests are on the humans’ roofs. An urban building is not a sea cliff, and it is perverse to pretend that it’s the gulls’ own territory that is being invaded. Neither is it strictly true that aggression is confined to nesting sites. Any humans with food in their hands — sandwiches, pasties, hamburgers, chips, ice creams — are prime targets for a beak.

The NHS does not keep records of minor injuries, so it is impossible to know how many have needed treatment after gull attacks. Local newspapers fill the gap with stories of postmen knocked from bicycles, householders terrorised, scaffolders forced down their ladders, scalps ripped. A headline in The Independent might have been lifted from a straight-to-video movie: “Attack of the killer seagulls”.

There has been at least one well-publicised death, of an 80-year-old man who was attacked and fell while trying to clear guano from his garage roof in Anglesey (he died of a heart attack). A woman tore tendons and split a bone in her foot when she tried to escape an attacker in Weymouth. Last summer a woman was taken to hospital after being savaged at Burnham-on-Sea. If reports are to be believed, at least one dog has been pecked to death and a school in Sussex has had to rig netting over its playground to keep the children safe. Yet violence is not necessarily the worst problem. Gulls can start their noise as early as 4am, and the slow torture of sleep deprivation can cut more deeply into the human psyche than fear of a bloody head. Roofs and windows are plastered with droppings so alkaline that they eat through the paintwork of cars. Birds damage roof insulation, block gutters and flues with their nests, and redistribute the contents of bins with the kind of wild energy that makes foxes look fastidious. They are also blamed for spreading disease.

Gulls feeding at sewage outfalls or landfills can become agents of bacterial warfare when they visit reservoirs on the way home. Gastrointestinal pathogens delivered via bird droppings include salmonella, E. coli, campylobacter, cryptosporidium, listeria and yersinia. And it is not just humans at risk. Gulls also infest farmland and draw cows and sheep into their cycle of decay. An outbreak of salmonella in Scotland was the climax of a poisonous chain reaction that began with an infected human, then travelled via sewage, gulls and pasture into cows and milk. In Lancashire, gulls infected feeding troughs with salmonella and caused an epidemic of abortion in sheep. “The sheep licked the droppings,” explained an expert in the journal Microbiology Today, “and the salmonella caused the foetuses to rot in the ewes.”

Another great unknown is the effect on local economies. We know what some local authorities are spending to eradicate or deter the birds — £30,000 a year in Bristol, for example — but have little idea how much it’s costing in terms of cleaning, repairs, private defences and tourism. This will be the focus of Rock’s research through the winter.

....the problem is not confined to Britain. From Norway to Portugal, every coastal country along the western seaboard of Europe now has roof-nesting gulls. So have the US, Canada and Australia.
....

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/e ... 424706.ece
 

Anome

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"...new urban menace..."? We've had 'em swarming around here for years. And we're landlocked. The nearest ocean is a hundred miles away.
 

rynner2

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Anome_ said:
"...new urban menace..."? We've had 'em swarming around here for years. And we're landlocked. The nearest ocean is a hundred miles away.
From the article:
Urban nesting by gulls in Britain is a new phenomenon. Before the second world war it was unknown, but at the current rate Britain will have more than a million breeding pairs by 2014.
But also:
Gull heaven’s principal architect was the Clean Air Act of 1956, which meant that refuse had to be dumped rather than burnt. Add to this the escalating garbage bonanza of throwaway consumerism, and you have the longest dinner invitation in history. Towns have other attractions too. Rooftops are warmer than cliffs (ambient temperatures are between 2C and 6C higher than in open country); street lighting allows round-the-clock feeding, and the next meal is never far away. Even on farmland, it might take a bird six to eight hours to eat its fill. At a landfill it can be replete in 20 minutes.
There's an old saying
Seagull, seagull, sit on the strand
It's never good weather when you're on the land

meaning that in bad weather on the coast gulls would try their luck inland - there are probably references to gulls following the plough going back a century or more.

But this article is making the point that changes in human lifestyle (coupled with the growth of our population and cities) has created a new and benign environment for gulls within the last few decades.

This has happened within my lifetime, though those of you aged say 40 or less may think the situation has existed forever! ;)
 

escargot

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We're about 50 miles from the sea but we have gulls here. Yesterday at the local park I saw small children feeding ducks, with a flock of seagulls hanging round overhead.
We stayed well clear. ;)
 

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Seagulls are taking over from the pigeons in the green between the Old Library and the Arts Block in TCD. The difference is that the seagulls come up and look at you to guilt trip you into feeding them.
 

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Seagull bite led to hospital stay

A chef from the Cotswolds had to be treated in hospital after he was bitten by a seagull he was trying to help.

Mitch Workman, who works in a cafe at Saul Junction, was attempting to rescue the bird which a dog had chased into his cafe in Gloucestershire.

He was taken to the accident and emergency department after his arm became badly swollen overnight.

Doctors feared Mr Workman could have lose the use of his arm after he contracted cellulitis from the bite.

Mr Workman's partner Carla Mason said it was a most bizarre incident.

"Their dog chased the seagull into the house and he tried to save it but it bit his finger and we all had a bit of a laugh about it.

"But overnight it swelled up and the swelling started to travel up his arm. He was rather concerned so we took him to A&E and he ended up on a drip for 48 hours.

"The doctors said the infection had spread up his arm and it was lucky they had caught it in time and managed to get the antibiotics in in time."

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/glou ... 949010.stm
 

rynner2

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Ungodly seagull torments parish priest
Saturday, July 11, 2009

A VICAR is moving from his parish home after having serious trouble with certain members of his flock.
The Rev Colin Furness claims his home is too dangerous to live in – because he is getting attacked by seagulls every time he sets foot outside the door.
He says the "vicious" birds have swooped at least once a day since the gulls built their nests on a neighbour's roof a fortnight ago.
The 66-year-old said the eight-strong flock lash out with their sharp beaks as they dive-bomb his family and believes they are protecting a clutch of newly hatched chicks.

Now he fears serious injury at the bird's talons and beaks and said it was too dangerous to stay in the grounds of his rectory in Chard, Somerset.
Mr Furness, the vicar of the Good Shepherd church in Furnham, Somerset, said: "The gulls can be really vicious. We can't go out in the back garden without getting attacked.
"At first it was just a couple of them, but then eight or nine joined in and now we can't get away from them.
"There is a nest on a nearby roof and I think the chicks have hatched and the adults are trying to protect them.
"One day we were going to sit on the patio with a coffee after lunch, but had to retreat inside."
He fears his wife Georgina, 54, and their 16-month-old grandson Josh could be injured by the bird's sharp beaks.

Mr Furness, who retires from the clergy next month after 40 years' service, added: "They swoop every time you leave the house, which is obviously not ideal.
"We can't let Josh play in the garden while this is going on – it's too dangerous."
The gulls are protected by law and cannot be killed without a licence from Natural England, the public body which overseas native wildlife.
Mr Furness says he has now reported the problem to South Somerset District Council.

Vicki Dawson, the council's environmental health officer, admitted there is no simple solution.
She said: "Gulls are an increasing national problem and unfortunately there's no easy answer.
"Birds are often offered protection under specific legislation.
"But individuals are able to apply for general licences from Natural England, which can allow people to take their own action – such as egg-oiling or removing nests."

http://www.thisiswesternmorningnews.co. ... ticle.html
 

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Sensible atheist birds. :)
 
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