In the United Kingdom, the population of herring gulls is on the decline. The bird species is listed as “Red” under the Birds of Conservation Concern.
These birds are often found in seaside towns, especially during the breeding season. They build their nests around the coast or on an island. They typically choose to build their homes on rooftops.
But, in this case, a couple of herring gulls found the roof of a patrol car to be a cozy place for laying eggs and raising their chicks.
Since the birds are a protected species under the Wildlife and Countryside Act of 1981, police authorities in Bridport, Dorset, are making sure that the herring gulls would not get disturbed.
It was a good thing for the police force that the birds have chosen a spare vehicle.
According to their spokesperson, “We are now liaising with Natural England to explore what options are available to us in these unusual circumstances. As this is a spare vehicle, there are sufficient cars to meet our operational requirements, and there will be no impact on our daily activities. However, we are keen to get the vehicle operational as soon as possible.”
After learning about the situation, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals commented, “Birds are at their most vulnerable when nesting. Any disturbance could kill or injure wild birds and their young – or cause parent birds to abandon their nest, eggs and young. Nests can’t be moved or destroyed while they’re being built or still in use – apart from under certain exceptions to allow the control of certain birds for specific reasons under licence.”
The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds feels confident that, despite the extraordinary situation, the Dorset police will deal with the birds appropriately. Also, the eggs of herring gulls hatch fast, and the chicks grow fast.
The police force does not have to worry very long, since they will surely get back their patrol car in time.
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