North Yorkshire Wild Bird Rescue - Scarborough - Filey - Bridlington

Help rescue birds - Herring gulls

The primary purpose of this website and this page is to educate the public about how to help wild birds, and where possible to get them involved in the rescue work themselves, rather than contacting us automatically when you find a bird needing help.

Some birds we advise you leave to the rescue services, these birds include the smaller birds, especially the young orhaned birds, that need expert help with someone that is experienced in hand rearing.

The birds you can help are our sea birds, unless they are injured, then they must be brought to us, these are in most need of your help, you would be helping the rescue services too, saving us a lot of time and money.

The herring gull is our most common rescue bird, so we specialise mainly in their rescue hear on the Yorkshire Coast.

These birds need very minimal care, they don't need any specialist help, their youngsters can eat straight from the ground after being born, so no hand rearing is involved. You must always keep them inside where it's warm, if very young.

Feeding Herring Gulls

You can feed them any fish flavoured cat food/dog food, tined fish, placed in a dish, or white bate (small fish), feed them the whole fish. And live mealworms from a pet store. DO NOT FEED THEM ANYTHING ELSE.

The older birds can be kept in a rabbit hutch or shed out doors during the night time, then during the day time you must let them out. Make sure you have a completely fenced off secure garden or yard to keep them safe.

If it's cold then you need to keep the very small gulls indoors in a warm place, in a cardboard, or plastic box, but away from cats and dogs, a closed room would be safer.

Never house them in a bird cage indoors, this would restrict them from flapping there wings, something they will need to do and have a built in instinct to do this, for strengthening their wings for later flight.

This could get you to think about volunteering or even setting up you own wildlife rescue service if you wanted to, as many wildlife organisations have started by helping one bird. There is a definite need for this in our coastal areas and towns during the breeding season.

Injured wild birds and the law

It is legal to take in and care for most wild birds, with the exception of some birds of prey. Read about it from the rspb website. Visit:

If you think you would be interested in getting involved in rescuing birds, volunteering or even advise about starting your own rescue, then please get in touch with me, and I would be happy to help in anyway I can.

John Anderson

Scarborough, North Yorkshire