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Seagull situation downtown


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#1 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 06:23 AM

http://www.timescolo...7453/story.html

It really does seem to me to be real bad this year. People must be getting hit a lot.
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#2 Rob Randall

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 06:54 AM

Jack Knox did a funny piece on it a few days ago:

Can’t recall a summer when so many people have complained of being splattered. We’re not talking about, “Oops, I have a splotch on my shirt.” We’re talking about whole buckets of whitewash that hit with knee-buckling velocity, like the red slurry of fire retardant dropped from a water bomber, coming in with enough force to set off your car alarm.


Read more: http://www.timescolo...l#ixzz1VOxKh7vO

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#3 Bingo

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 06:55 AM

I remember when the tourist slogan was "Follow the birds to Victoria"

This goes back to when the CPR ships would run from Vancouver to Victoria and the seagulls would follow the ship waiting for the food scraps to be thrown overboard.

#4 sebberry

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 07:18 AM

Considering it is a crime to let your dog chase the birds, what do you expect?

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#5 Mike K.

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 07:55 AM

I appreciate not having seagulls around at our Saanich office :)

But due to our relatively wet run up to summer we don't have as much seagull poop everywhere like we normally do at this time of year.

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#6 jklymak

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 08:12 AM

Its also illegal to clear seagull nests from downtown buildings once there are eggs in them. Totally bogus in my opinion.

#7 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 08:44 AM

Its also illegal to clear seagull nests from downtown buildings once there are eggs in them. Totally bogus in my opinion.


Can you addle the eggs?
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#8 Holden West

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 10:38 AM

^No, I don't believe so as they are a protected species, believe it or not.
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#9 Mike K.

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 10:48 AM

Flying rats is what they are :) ...and bullies. The other day I saw a seagull swoop down and steal a piece of pizza a gang of sparrows were munching on. I couldn't help but feel sorry for the sparrows so I tried to chase the seagull away, but to no avail :(

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#10 aastra

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 10:50 AM

Can’t recall a summer when so many people have complained of being splattered.


I don't know, doesn't this all seem very familiar? I could have sworn they were going on about the "worst poopfest ever" just a few years ago.

#11 jonny

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 10:53 AM

The $hitgulls this year are horrible. I've had three near misses while walking in the past few weeks and my car has been covered so badly it wasn't even funny. I couldn't see out of the windshield one time it was so plastered. Even the drive through car wash couldn't get it off.

Is there any other bird that is so disgusting in the way it defecates? I can't think of any other bird that relieves itself mid flight in such a disgusting manner with such massive quantities of thick, nasty, white syrup poo. What the hell do they eat to produce such a horrible byproduct? Too many big macs? Or is it too much seafood? Don't even get me started on the wretched noise they make.

I hate the damn things and as far as I'm concerned they are vermin like rats and need to be dealt with. We shouldn't be allowing them to make themselves at home on rooftops. We need a team of falcons. Or better yet, a handful of guys with shotguns.

#12 Nparker

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 11:13 AM

Its also illegal to clear seagull nests from downtown buildings once there are eggs in them. Totally bogus in my opinion.


I could not agree more. There are several nests on the building across the street from where I live and each year the number of seagulls screeching at sunrise is increasing...and apparently there is nothing that we can do about it. :mad:

#13 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 11:15 AM

Flying rats is what they are :) ...and bullies.


At least rats don't also "yell" at you.

The other day I saw a seagull swoop down and steal a piece of pizza a gang of sparrows were munching on. I couldn't help but feel sorry for the sparrows so I tried to chase the seagull away, but to no avail :(


Don't mess with mother nature's balance. What you did would be like culling one species to allow another to survive. Humans would never do that, would they? :cool:

They are re-painting the front of the arena as it is so bad. And they have now installed no-land wires along the ridge. So it must be bad for them to only install it now for the first time in 6 years.
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#14 Nparker

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 11:30 AM

They are re-painting the front of the arena as it is so bad...


And the new dark-blue paint on the Odeon theatre is now an attractive backdrop for lots of white seagull enhancements. I think I prefered the grey.

#15 Mike K.

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 11:58 AM

Np, I was just about to mention that! That bright blue looks like a terrible choice right about now.

What bugs me most about seagulls is their screeching at 5AM. Some days are better than others but there's nothing quite like waking to those things before the sun gets a chance to rise.

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#16 jklymak

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 01:25 PM

I could not agree more. There are several nests on the building across the street from where I live and each year the number of seagulls screeching at sunrise is increasing...and apparently there is nothing that we can do about it. :mad:


Well, you can put up bird spikes, which really helped at our building. And you can patrol the roof regularly and clear out nests before eggs are laid. But otherwise, you can't touch the buggers. I'm usually pretty bleeding heart w/ animals, but protecting unborn seagulls is beyond the pale in my opinion.

#17 Rob Randall

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 06:07 PM

The Globe and Mail weighs in:

“I was just covered in it from head to toe,” Ms. Barbon said of the excrement that took two showers to wash away.


Pierre Gauthier, general manager of the downtown Cineplex Odeon theatre, didn’t wait for the grant program to be announced. He installed his wiring two weeks ago, after gulls sprayed all over a back wall he’d painted dark blue.

“Lo and behold, my beautiful blue wall wasn’t looking so beautiful anymore,” he said.


http://www.theglobea...article2135964/

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#18 LJ

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 07:04 PM

^No, I don't believe so as they are a protected species, believe it or not.


BC has no "protected species" per se. We have a ranking system Red, Yellow and Blue and the seagulls are certainly not in any of those catagories.

Under the Wildlife Act, all wildlife is protected by habitat conservation etc.

A person may kill wildlife for the protection of life or property.

I don't know if a $hitstorm would be justification for a kill.:rolleyes:

Addling eggs is encouraged in a lot of instances especially with geese so I don't see why you couldn't do that.
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#19 aastra

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 07:21 PM

Some historical context:

Fight Seagull Menace (letter to the editor)
Times-Colonist
12 March 2002

If we are to overcome the incredible overpopulation of seagulls in the Greater Victoria area it will take a consistent effort every breeding season for more than four or five years. I am a bird watcher and environmentalist so I recognize when there is a problem "that we are to blame for."

Because the nesting colonies are all full, the gulls have to look for elsewhere to nest, hence rooftops.

Last summer I had a table in Bastion Square. In a total of three months we were dumped on three times, twice spoiling our display. I also started to notice all the heritage buildings were whitewashed, parked cars covered with white streaks, windows everywhere covered.

If we are going to solve this problem it will take four, five or six years of continuous egg collecting. The CRD needs to co- ordinate with building managers and owners to collect eggs throughout the breeding seasons. Also everyone please don't encourage them by feeding them. That's one of the reasons the population has increased.

Seabirds the Scourge of My Life
Victoria News
14 August 2008

One sunny Friday afternoon, I put on a pair of shorts and hauled out a wash bucket, some soap and a sponge. In 45 minutes, I had a spectacular tan and a glistening ocean-blue car.

I parked my beautiful machine outside my James Bay home - on a street lined with leafy trees just steps from Fisherman's Wharf.

The next morning, I stepped out my front door and spotted my car. The sight stopped me in my tracks, an expression of horror, then utter disgust, then fury crossed my face. Saucer-sized white splatters with that trademark grey lump in the middle covered my lovely car. And they really covered it. That ocean blue was shrouded in a pasty, sticky, revolting film of seagull poop...

To my disappointment, killing seagulls is illegal. Labelled as migratory birds (although they seem to never leave), gulls are protected in the Migratory Birds Convention Act, signed in 1994.

What I don't understand is the fascination tourists seem to have with the gulls. Visitors crowd the boardwalk along the Inner Harbour, squinting behind tiny cameras as they line up a picture of the feathered fiends. Tourists point, gasp and laugh at the sight of a seagull perched atop a lamp post. I eagerly await the day when I see a happy tourist's curiosity betrayed by a too close encounter with a gooey white bomb.

A handful of Victorians actually like the creatures and even feed them, much to my dismay. A friend of mine, Caroline Mitic, says when it comes to a crowd of unsightly creatures, seagulls are the least of our worries.

"Birds have been here a lot longer than we have," she said, adding some advice. "I hear Regina doesn't have many seagulls, move there."

It's not just the smattering of feces seagulls drop to decorate flat surfaces across our city that makes me cringe.

Waking up to the sound of metal grinding metal or Fran Drescher's voice would be a welcome change from the ear-splitting, bone-chilling scream of the neighbourhood gull clan.

Plus, the winged freaks are vicious. They hang out in packs, watching for innocent passers-by and jump at the chance to swoop over their heads. Wikipedia agrees with me. Its "gulls" article describes the pests-of-the-sky as portraying "mobbing behaviour, attacking and harassing would-be predators and other intruders."

Fending Off Feathered Friends
Times-Colonist
31 Oct 2003

The 'birdman of Victoria' has become a local expert on why seagulls, crows and starlings make messes on building facades, and your raincoat.

Since 1999, he has worked on avian issues at Eaton Centre -- now the Bay Centre -- where he found 17 seagull nests at the start. The number has since been whittled to one...

Make City's Roofs Free of Nests (letter to the editor)
Times-Colonist
13 Aug 2004


It is seagull nesting time again in Victoria.

Buildings in the downtown core with flat roofs are being converted into nesting and chick-raising areas.

This results in an incredible mess on the buildings, sidewalks and streets, not to mention the odd passing pedestrian and auto.

While many building owners are conscientious about preventing this by cleaning off their roofs of nests early in the season, a surprising number are not.

Even some notable civic buildings are not being good citizens and helping to keep our buildings and environs clean.

Perhaps the city could take the lead here and ensure that all civic buildings' roofs are cleared of nests and also suggest to owners in the city core that in the interests of civic pride they also do this.

Before the "Seagull Preservation Society" attacks me on this issue I would like to point out that there are many more seagulls living in and around seaport cities, including Victoria, than there were prior to the arrival of Europeans in the new world.

There has, generally speaking, been no degradation of their traditional nesting spots on isolated islets and rocks. Their aggressive feeding and chick-raising habits also indicate that they are being stressed by over-population and that we would be doing them favour by eliminating roof nesting sites in the city.

While seagulls are a part of living in a city by the ocean, there is no valid reason to allow them to nest on city roofs.

Gulls protect nest, keep workers away from air conditioner:
The Vancouver Sun
20 July 2007:

Staff at a city insurance office are sweating in temperatures ranging up to the mid-30s because a pair seagulls, in full protective mode, is attacking anyone who goes near a broken air conditioning unit on the roof.

Sparking the seagull frenzy is a single egg in a nest tucked under one side of the air conditioner -- a nest that the overheated folks at Coast Capital Insurance Services on Gorge Road East can't move because it's against the law.

That's because seagulls, which are often viewed as garbage- eating pests, actually enjoy protection under the Migratory Bird Convention Act, an agreement between Canada and the U.S. designed to keep natural populations of birds in the wild, according to Robert Elner of the Canadian Wildlife Service.

Moving the egg and nest requires a special permit from Environment Canada.

Yet if anyone needs protection, it seems it's the air conditioner technician sent up to fix the unit during last week's heat wave only to be greeted with a puke-and-poop bombardment.

"They do their do-do on you, that's what they do and they regurgitate their food on you. They spit on you," said Harold Hildred of Triple C Air Conditioning Refrigeration Ltd..

The bombardment started with a couple of seagulls and, by the time Hildred retreated, there were a couple of dozen.

"They have a nasty habit of regurgitating what they have eaten and puking all over you," said exasperated Coast Capital manager Kathy Webster.

"It's the most terrible smell. It's like rotting fish that has been left in the sun for a month."

"These birds are vicious," she added, after a tarp-covered foray on to the roof Thursday with Jeff Krieger of Alternative Wildlife Solutions.

Harbour authority told to stop scaring gulls; Auditory deterrent not permitted in Ogden Point migratory bird sanctuary
Times-Colonist
11 July 2008

The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority has been ordered to turn off an auditory bird deterrent at the Ogden Point terminal.

Canadian Wildlife Services has told the authority that the equipment, intended to scare away seagulls, wasn't appropriate for use in a migratory bird sanctuary.

Dave Smith, an Environment Canada manager, said it would be a bad precedent to allow any agency to use the auditory deterrents in a migratory bird sanctuary.

Smith, who is the protected-areas manager for the Pacific and Yukon Region of the Canadian Wildlife Service, said the authority is allowed to discourage seagulls from its property using physical methods, but not by using methods that would harass other types of birds in the area.

The GVHA applied to the CWS for a permit to continue using the bird deterrent after a complaint was made about its use. The device emits bird distress calls and was installed to deter hundreds of seagulls from perching and defecating on top of the terminal.

At the time Paul Servos, general manager of the GVHA, said the authority was unaware that the harbour was a migratory bird sanctuary and special permission was required for the device.

The Victoria harbour has been a migratory bird sanctuary since 1923, when it was designated as a means of protecting birds who migrated to the area in the winter from market hunting.


Marina takes good wild with bad
Times-Colonist
21 Aug 2002

The wildlife is making a comeback at the Village Marina site off Herald Street.

Don Christie, project manager for the Victoria marina development, said the site has been revamped and refurbished, the trash has been collected and native plants have been restored.

The new marina, with its long concrete fingers tickling the waters of the Upper Harbour, is designed as a cosy spot for high- end yachts to nest.

But the seagulls that nest on the roof of the adjacent used- clothing store think the piers are a perfect spot for perching -- and pooping.

"The gulls are an issue," Christie said, indicating the white- coated jetties. "We had those powerwashed about two weeks ago, and look at them. I guess we'll have to have a bird dog on site, too."



#20 aastra

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 07:29 PM

So exactly where do we think all of these nuisance birds will go if we make it difficult for them to roost downtown?

More from that "birdman" article from 2003:

Mark Salter crunches across the gravel-covered roof four storeys above downtown Victoria and explains his unusual business.
He gets paid to scare off birds and keep them away from office buildings, stores and apartment blocks.

It's a mixture of bird knowledge and bird psychology, how they breed and feed, and some very odd-looking deterrent devices.

He doesn't hate birds, and as a sailor in local waters knows that seagulls are efficient scavengers that eat dead things which wash ashore.

"We need them, we just don't need them on your balcony," he says. "We don't do them a big service by letting them habituate on top of buildings."

From his perch high over the city, Salter points out bird hot spots and identifies what will attract feathered creatures.

We see a mostly featureless flat space, but a seagull sees a beach with water and shelter, and sometimes a food source if there are restaurant exhaust fans that drip grease. The food smells draw birds.

Big heating and air conditioning units offer two out of three. They use lots of cooling water, which often pools on the roof. Gulls can find nesting spots beneath, even inside the intakes.

Cornices around the edge of a building are vantage points for birds and provide shade from the sun and shelter from the wind.


***

An incident on Government Street from 2000:

Man fined for booting off seagull chicks
Kamloops Daily News
05 Aug 2000

Victoria - A man who booted four flightless seagull chicks out of a nest on the roof of his downtown office building, killing one, has been fined $335 by conservation officials.

The fine was levied under terms of the Wildlife Act for disturbing and harassing wildlife, Lynn West of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty Animals said Friday.

The fine could have been as high as $550, she said.

The man's name was not released.

West said her office received many calls about the incident, in which the young gulls were kicked and sent plummeting to the pavement on Government Street.



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