The silver gull is a native animal in Australia.
The silver gull is found throughout coastal Australia and in inland areas where there are significant water bodies.
The silver gull has a white head and breast, with grey back and wings. The wings have black tips. In adult birds, the beak, eye ring and legs are orange/red.
It is quite a big bird, but not as big as the other gull species in Australia, such as the Pacific gull.
As the silver gull is a big bird, it makes a lot of noise and a lot of mess! Apart from the disturbance there are concerns with regarding to disease and parasite transmission.
Around tourist areas and shopping areas, some silver gulls have become aggressive when ‘begging’ for food, as a result of people feeding them scraps (either intentionally or through leaving food behind).
Silver gulls can also be a serious safety concern around airports and have been involved in hundreds of “bird strikes” with aeroplanes.
When large numbers of silver gulls congregate around water bodies used for drinking water, the bacterial loading in the water can increase significantly through their droppings and regurgitated food.
For more on seagulls as pests.
Away from urban areas they will build their nests on the ground and the cliffs in isolated areas or off shore islands.
In urban areas they will build their nests on roofs and ledges. Which in turn represents another pest issue, being both unsightly and causing damage to buildings.
Silver gulls form monogamous pairs and breed between August and December.
They will produce 2 broods per year with up to 3 eggs in each clutch.
Typically silver gulls will each fish, crustaceans, insects and worms, but in the urban habit they have developed to become quite efficient scavengers, eating a wide range of human foods.
Silver gulls have become a particularly aggressive pest in coastal tourist areas, begging for food.
Reducing access to food is important to keep silver gull numbers down and prevent interactions with humans.
Ensuring that garbage is placed in bins with secure tops, and providing clear messaging and education for residents and tourists, to clear up after eating, are important steps.
Keeping silver gulls off ledges requires a professional pest manager to install appropriate exclusive devices such as bird spikes or repellent (optical) gels.