Don’t feed the birds!

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NEW signs are set to go up in Kirkcaldy to warn people not to feed seagulls as part of plans to combat the ongoing problem.

Locals using the town’s bus station are also being warned not to feed pigeons in a bid to stop them gathering in large numbers and fouling in the area.

A spokeswoman for the Council’s environmental services said this is the time of year to remind people not to give food to gulls as their breeding season is about to begin.

Elaine Devine, environmental and commercial team leader, said: “The seagulls breeding season begins in April/May and after that they start to build nests and lay eggs. It is at this time that we start our preparation work to discourage people from feeding the gulls.

“Over the next two-three months we will also be putting up signs in identified hotspots across Fife alerting people not to feed them.

“Seagulls come into town centres because there is a food source there so if we can try and stop people from feeding them and encourage them to dispose of their waste properly, they will stay on coastlines where they come from.”

Alice Soper, chairman of Kirkcaldy Area Committee, said: “Almost every year, during the breeding period, I receive complaints about aggressive seagulls, particularly in the central area of Kirkcaldy.

“Despite many national investigations, there is no single resolution to the seagull matter. But if everyone did their part by keeping our town clean and litter free, it would make such a difference and deter such aggressive behaviour by the gulls.” She added though that this was a natural way for the seagulls to behave and there was no suggestion of treating them as pests.

Ms Devine said seagulls are not the only bird causing problems in Kirkcaldy as her department has received complaints about pigeons leaving a mess at the town bus station.

She continued: “We are reinforcing the message not to feed pigeons at the station and around the Postings. It is causing a big fouling problem for people waiting on buses as well as trying to keep pavements clean.

“We understand it has been a problem there for a while and that people are specifically bringing feed to the station with the intention of feeding the pigeons. It is about educating people not to do this as they might not realise what a problem it is causing.”