It’s that time of year when freshly hatched birds are taking their first tentative ‘steps’ away from the nest, and the experts are warning the public to leave them alone.
While it may be tempting to scoop up an apparent ‘lost’ bird, the RSPB is urging people to allow nature to takes its course. Even if they are on public pathways or gardens, both in our towns and rural areas, the charity says.
And it is sometimes the safer option, particularly when it comes to baby seagulls. Their parents are notoriously protective of their young, and have been known to dive-bomb anyone straying too close to their chicks across coastal towns. Some have in the past been hurt by gulls’ claws or beaks after getting too close.
It’s possible victims are not even aware they had strayed too close to a gull chick, the RSPB said. RSBP spokesman Martin Jensen told us: “Herring gulls take parenting very seriously – whether they are on an unpopulated coastal island or in a town or city around the extensive UK coastline.
“Defending their nest and their young is part of their DNA. On a coastal island, if a crow or a great black-backed gull tries to steal and eat an egg or chick, it will be repelled with all the parent gull’s strength and other gulls will come to assist. It is no different in the towns and cities of the UK.
“If the gulls believe their eggs or young are in danger, they understandably become very protective and can be aggressive in defence of their young.”