The rising numbers of gulls and pigeons in towns is due primarily to the increased availability of food. The more food; the greater the population.
Although accepted as a ‘natural’ feature of coastal towns, gulls – particularly the herring gull – can sometimes come into conflict with people by, for example, nesting on rooftops and waking the occupants in the very early hours with raucous cries; breaking open refuse sacks and scattering the contents; ‘dive bombing’ people and pets considered to be too close to their young.
Pigeons carry many diseases, some of which can be transmitted to people. They carry also a mite which causes skin disease. Their droppings are acidic and can cause damage to buildings. Nest material, feathers and droppings can clog gutters, drains and vents. As well as being unsightly, pigeon droppings on pavements can make the surface slippery and hazardous.