Red-Billed Gulls

​​Red-billed gulls

​​​Waitaki District Council is available to provide advice and guidance on how to gull proof your property.

A guide to evicting Red-billed gulls from your building

It CAN feel like Red-billed gulls are taking over a town, congregating under street lights, smoking and giving out sass when you try to move them on, but there are things you can do to make your building gull-free.​

First though, it’s only right to note Red-billed gulls are a bit special. They seem abundant but actually they’re in decline nationally (numbers 50% down over the last 25 years). They are a protected species. And all seabirds are noisy and poopy and exhibit aggressive behaviour to protect their young and territory, so it’s not just Red-bills that have a bad attitude.

Get in early

Red-billed gulls start laying eggs from September through January so you need to put measures in place by July/August at the latest when they will be looking for attractive real estate to develop and build nests on.

Remove all material from the roof regularly during the season before eggs are laid.

Once they have eggs or chicks on the nest there isn’t much you can do without a wildlife permit and even then, only limited action can be taken.


  • Before nests are formed, remove all material from the roof daily, or every two days, during early season. This will prevent egg laying and deter birds from the site
  • Be aware of who’s using your roof. Schedule regular checks in late evening which is when foraging mates return

  • Install spikes along the tops of buildings and window ledges
  • Approved wires or net systems are a simple yet effective measure to exclude birds from large flat areas that may be used for nesting. Create a matrix: using thin rope or bird netting, string a grid over the rooftop. Gulls won’t stick around if they can’t sit down
  • These products are designed not to harm the birds however they must be checked regularly to ensure no birds become entangled or caught.​

  • Don’t feed them, it only makes them want to stay
  • Don’t leave rubbish around
  • Turn lights off at night. Seabirds are attracted to artificial light sources, so reduce this where you can​

Links to products and methods


Guide to evicting Red-billed gulls flyer

Redbilled gulls DL (PDF,​​ 458MB)​

Page reviewed: 04 Aug 2020 12:24pm