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Monday, July 8, 2013

Roof Nesting Gulls Still Rare in Guernsey

I've commented several times before on this blog about how rare it still is in Guernsey for Herring Gulls to nest on roofs. At present the birds continue to nest at traditional sites on the Island's cliff coastline and offshore islands and islets...and long may it remain so! A handful of Herring Gulls (but not yet any Lesser Black-backed Gulls to my knowledge) buck this ancient trend...and have begun to nest on domestic roofs...but they are very few and far between. Each year I only get to ring one or two chicks from such nests. I'm always keen to colour ring these chicks to see if they adopt their parents nesting habits or return to the islets or cliffs when they are old enough to breed (by their 5th calendar year). Today I ringed the only chick from a roof nesting pair I've seen this year - White 2HV9. The parents are most fortunate in that their human hosts feel privileged to have the birds nesting on the roof...despite the mess and the noise!

Herring Gull White 2HV9 - a rare roof  nesting gull in Guernsey! (c) Pat Costen


  1. It's not only the mess and noise homeowners need to worry about when they have birds nesting on their roofs. Birds, no matter how lovely they are, could wreak havoc to your roofing system. For example, their accumulated droppings (which are acidic by nature) could damage your roof materials, specially if it's asphalt; the pecking of their beaks could make gaps between the shingles and affect the roof's surface structure. [Pleasance]

  2. I could see how amazed you are by this Herring Gulls nesting on the roof, but Pleasance is right, birds could do damage your roof. In fact, birds and tress are among top enemies of your roofing materials. And looking at this picture, I can see that's case here. --Sol @

  3. Although the experts here are right, I'll not tell about how birds damage roof; it's your prerogative to keep them if you want to, and let the roofers deal with damage. It's so sweet of nature to let these creatures choose a part of your home to build their home in. FRANCISCO @

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