When Gulls Turn your Roof into a Nursery

By Peggy DiMauro

Herring gulls and other birds such as rock doves in urban areas frequently nest on flat roofs. They breed once a year from April to June.  Nest building begins generally in early May, and urban birds will often use the same nest year after year.

The easiest way to discourage nesting on your roof would be to check the rooftop early in May and destroy any nesting materials before eggs are laid and/or babies hatched.  Gulls are persistent and if they have been nesting there before, it may take a time or two of disturbing the site to discourage them from returning.

Other options:

1) Stainless Steel Bird Spikes can be purchased from Amazon.com. – Price depends on manufacturer and style.

2)  Bird Spider 360 Spinning Bird Deterrent can be purchased from Home Depot.

3)   Bird Barrier Model #DD-4000, designed specifically for use on gulls, pigeons, and other large birds. Manufactured by Grainger (www.grainger.com)

4)  Decoys and scary masks. Gulls don’t like bright, shiny tape, shiny objects, owl faces, wooden owls, decoy coyotes, hawk statues, etc.; however, these probably will be only temporary deterrents.

More options can be found on the National Geographic website, www.nationalgeographic.com. Topic Title: “Gulls be Gone -10 ways to Get Rid of Pesky Birds”.  Author: Jennifer Holland.

 

Bat Facts

Bats can find their food in total darkness. They locate insects through echolocation, emitting inaudible high pitched sounds and listening to echoes. Bats also have excellent vision, is there’s no such thing as “blind as a bat”

Most bats have only one pup a year, making them extremely vulnerable to extinction. Bat mothers can find their babies among thousands or millions of other bats by their unique voices and scents.

Bat droppings, called guano, are one of the richest fertilizers, although inhalation of it’s dust is dangerous so use caution. Bat guano was once a big business. In fact, guano was Texas’s largest mineral export before oil

A single bat can catch 1,000 mosquitoes in an hour, and many garden pests avoid areas where they hear bats echolocating. Research suggests that bats save American farmers more than $22 billion in pest control each year.

Bats are vital pollinators and seed dispersers. They ensure the survival of hundreds of species of economically and ecologically important plants, including sources of fruits, nuts, medicines, timber, fibers and dyes. Oh and agave! If it wasn’t for bats, we wouldn’t have tequila.

Bats are the only mammals able to fly and are quite talented at aerial acrobatics. Their wings are thin, giving them what is called, in flight terms “airfoil.” The power bats have to push forward is called “propulsion.”

Some bats can survive in freezing temperatures and even fly in the middle of blizzards. During hibernation, their breathing slows down until it’s imperceptible and their heart rate drops to just 25 beats per minute, compared to roughly 400 beats per minute when they are awake.

Rabies transmission from bats to humans is rare, just 1-2 cases per years in the U.S and Canada combined. Just always remember, bats aren’t pets and you should never handle them. Media stories grossly exaggerating risks of disease from bats are promoted by those who profit from public fear.

Artwork by John Small