Pairing for life, gulls are productive breeders with two birds raising up to 30 chicks over a ten year period. Mating generally begins with the birds identifying nesting sites in February each year, with the actual breeding season running from March to the end of July with a typical clutch of three eggs laid in April/early May. Research shows that replacing seagull eggs with plastic imitations in the nest reduces breeding success and keeps gulls calm during the breeding season.
A recent scientific study has proved that using imitation eggs was a ‘viable and effective method of control’ and ‘noise and nuisance levels in treated areas were clearly reduced’. The research proved that urban gulls will accept plastic imitation eggs in place of their own in the nest with the gulls “incubating them for twice the normal incubation time (56-60 days) and when the eggs were finally rejected, the nests were abandoned without replacement eggs or nests occurring”. Whilst incubating the imitation eggs, the gulls are quiet and less aggressive, reducing annoyance and attacks. As well as keeping breeding gulls calm, repeated replacement of real eggs with non-viable imitations in each breeding season reduces the number of hatchlings and future recruits within treated areas.
The imitation eggs are easy to deploy, less fiddly than sterilising real eggs by oiling, require fewer rooftop visits and are reusable the following year. Nuisance populations in treated areas decline in the long term in an environmentally friendly and humane manner. The effectiveness and ease of deployment of the eggs, not to mention the considerable cost saving over traditional gull control methods, has resulted in our customers reporting a very high success rate by using the eggs.