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Last Updated: Tuesday, 28 June, 2005, 06:06 GMT 07:06 UK
Suburb suffers seagull 'attacks'
Seagull (generic)
Seagulls attack when they are defending their young
Residents of a Cardiff suburb say they have had to take evasive action to avoid attack from a flock of aggressive seagulls.

Some residents of the Pontcanna area of Cardiff say they have been forced to carry umbrellas to deter low-flying attacks from the birds.

There are around 6,000 seagulls in Cardiff, but the number is rising by 10% each year.

It is believed the gulls are protecting newly-hatched chicks on roofs nearby.

'Pecked heads'

Gull attacks mainly take place over several weeks while the adult birds seek to protect their young from perceived threats.

Picture of Rhodri John
Rhodri John says he has been forced to go out with an umbrella

Pontcanna resident Rhodri John said he, his wife and neighbours had all come under attack from the birds.

He added: "My next door neighbour and my wife go to work in the morning and they've got the umbrella out to try to keep them away.

"They come so close they skim your head.

"The person who gets it mainly is the postman at the moment."

Another Pontcanna resident, actress Sharon Morgan, said: "I always take the umbrella out with me and keep it in the car because they have swooped down on people and pecked people's heads.

Picture of low-flying seagull in Pontcanna, Cardiff
Residents have been frightened by the low-flying gulls

"This is just the beginning because the babies are still up in the chimneys somewhere."

Cardiff council said the problem was UK-wide, adding that it could offer advice but did not have a duty to deal with the gulls.

A rise in the urban gull population has seen a variety of methods employed to keep the birds under control in major population centres.

In recent years, a hawk has been employed in Bristol and an owl in Gloucester to scare the birds away from their nesting places.

Last year in Hastings, a robotic peregrine falcon was placed on the roof of a shopping centre and used to scare off seagulls and pigeons.


SEE ALSO:
Robo-bird keeps shops pigeon-free
04 Oct 04 |  Southern Counties
Couple bullied by angry seagull
17 Jul 04 |  North West Wales
Experts flock to tackle urban gulls
20 Nov 03 |  Gloucestershire



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