Ask SIB: What can we do about gulls?

Source: KARYNA D / GETTY IMAGES

Question: The gulls seem especially aggressive this year at Pelican’s Nest. Does SIB have any suggestions what Seabrook Island Club can do to ease the situation? – Mitchell Laskowitz, Seabrook Island Club Manager

Earlier this summer, Mitchell Laskowitz reached out to Seabrook Island Birders asking for any humane ideas we had to help with the gulls at Pelican’s Nest. He had already done an internet search and talked to other restaurant managers about possible solutions so he already had an initial action plan defined.

As a Seabrook Island Club member, I had seen the Laughing Gulls swarm over the rocks outside the nest, waiting for a chance for an evening snack. As soon as a patron turned away, the gulls would attack sandwiches, fries or anything else that tempted them.

SIB was unable to provide any new suggestions to Mitchell other than suggest people with food near the pool would need to take steps as well as the ones he proposed for Pelican’s Nest. Obviously, people should also be discouraged from actively feeding the gulls. The steps taken at the Pelican’s Nest include:

  • Installed additional wires to deter gulls from entering dining area
  • Netting was placed between the Sunrails
  • Metal Prongs (similar to icicles on a Christmas tree) were hung below wires
  • High Frequency Noise Transmitters that can be heard by gulls but not humans were acquired
  • Added fake owls to roof of Pelican’s Nest
  • Added signs on each table to educate patrons regarding what they can do to help:
    • Cover your plate with a napkin when finished eating
    • Dispose of garbage properly in lidded bins
    • Do not leave food unattended

My recent visits to Pelican’s Nest has shown fewer aggressive gulls. It could be the season is changing, but I think it also has a lot to do with the steps the Club has taken to humanely address the problem.

Submitted by: Judy Morr

Author: sibirders

SEABROOK ISLAND BIRDERS / “watching, learning, protecting” Seabrook Island Birders (SIB) are residents, renters and guests of Seabrook Island, SC who have an interest in learning, protecting and providing for the well-being of the incredible variety of birds that inhabit Seabrook Island throughout the year.

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