Squawking point

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Kay Smith’s letter (4 August) about the increasing gull numbers in towns should focus the minds of Edinburgh city-centre residents.

I am not aware if the City of Edinburgh Council is doing 
anything to control the gull 
population, but it would appear that residents aren’t doing their bit.

If I lived in a top floor flat in town, I’d have the roof checked early in the season to make sure no gulls were setting up home, and have any existing nests removed.

This lack of action, together with some areas of the town still insisting on using plastic bin bags – which are usually put out too early and ripped apart overnight – is not helpful.

Equally, I see tourists and construction workers feeding their left-overs to the gulls, not to mention an upper-floor resident next to our office, who regularly puts scraps out on their window sill for the waiting gulls, which they fight over then drop 
into the basements below, attracting rats.

Nowhere in the town centre have I seen notices advising people not to feed these birds, and the council should address this.

On the north side of Edinburgh, you can see birds heading towards the town centre early in the morning, and returning to the coast at dusk, so I can only assume the town has become their preferred feeding ground.

Human activity has caused the gulls to adapt from sea birds to town birds, and human habits need to change if this increasing trend is to be reversed.

Kathryn Sharp

Blinkbonny Road

Edinburgh