North Yorkshire Wild Bird Rescue - Scarborough - Filey - Bridlington

Help herring gulls

Herring gulls – babies



The following is for uninjured gulls only – obviously if they are injured you will need to bring them to us.

Baby gulls are born from around the end of April and immediately

we start getting calls about those that have fallen from roofs.

At this age they are tennis ball sized and need to go back on their nest if at all possible. They are too small to survive on the ground without any help, and contrary to many people’s belief, the parents cannot pick them up and carry them back.

If the baby bird cannot be returned to the correct nest site, then it needs to come in to us for help as soon as possible.

We should only take them if the roof is several storeys high, and it is an absolute impossibility to put them back in their nest safely. Please ask someone that has a ladder, to help you if you are unable to put them back yourself.

Rescue centres can get upwards of 200 young gulls in a year, all within about 2 months. They soon become overcrowded and will be unhealthy if time is not spent all day, every day cleaning out and feeding them. It makes a huge amount of work, and is not in the best interest of the birds either, as they should really be with their parents.

Please make every effort to put the gull back, but only if the roof is low enough to do so, but feel free to call us if, after everything, you need our help. Please do not just put them back on a roof or if you are uncertain where the correct nest is located. The bird will be in danger of being attacked, if its put in or near to the nest of a different pair of herring gulls. If in any doubt about what you should do, please Contact Us for advice first.

If you would like information on how to help these baby birds yourself, then please go to the page on our website Help Rescue Birds.

Middle to larger sized gulls

Those who are walking around and starting to get feathers, can be put on the edge of the roof and will walk back up to their nest if found on the ground. Again, please call us if there is no way of doing this, as a gull at this size left on the ground will not survive.

Later in the summer, baby gulls are starting to take their first flights and often end up on the ground.

At this stage we do not always take them in unless they are injured or too young and can't fly. Ideally, the baby bird needs popping back up on the roof where its parents are, but please make sure you do not put it on another roof where a different pair of gulls are nesting.

Young gulls often sit around in gardens because they are being fed, or they are interested in what is there, or they are in too enclosed a space to fly out.

We will not take the older birds unless they are in any dangerous situations, near main roads or injured: they do not need our help they need their parents to feed them and help them fly away, they will be too overcrowded if we took them all.

Please remember, we are here to help you and the birds, but we cannot do it all. If we are to spend all our time caring for them, then we need you to help with putting them back if possible, and with bringing birds to us if you can, instead of asking us to collect.

Adult or juvenile herring gulls

The big white gulls with grey wings, or the juveniles with browny/grey speckles – frequently suffer broken wings from road traffic accidents. In some cases the wing can be mended and strap them up for a few weeks and then giving them time to be able to fly strongly in an aviary.

If the wing is completely smashed, with bone sticking out, or the wing is twisting around, then it will never mend.

In this situation most bird rescuers think euthanasia is the only answer. But there are some wildlife sanctuary's that will take them in Permanently. Contact us for more details about this. Try if you are in North Yorkshire.

Caring for seabirds with botulism.

For our website visitors who have rescued seagulls that appear to be sick, we would like to make them aware of botulism, which seagulls suffer terribly from.

With this kind of sickness the bird appears to be very ill and lifeless, but it is only temporarily paralysed, for a few days or up to a week from the start. The legs are always the first things to go with botulism.

Some gulls appear paralysed but otherwise have no signs of injury. This can be Botulism that can be easily cured. The birds get food poisoning usually after being fed chips that are not digestible by the birds stomach, it then rots, and gets to the stage where they can’t even swallow for themselves. Intensive nursing will get them over this in a week or two.

This is curable and the cure is flushing out the birds system with water. You can use a syringe to squirt the water into the birds beak, then allowing the bird to swallow the water naturally on its own, and not forcing the water down the birds throat, it could drown.

Vets are not obligated to treat wild animals for free!  Its upto them, so they may charge for the treatment, they may recommend giving antibiotics for botulism and this will certainly help.

The law is very clear. It is illegal to interfere with nesting birds - and seagulls are protected. Anyone in any doubt can get a leaflet detailing the legalities from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.