A reminder has been sent out by a West Sussex wildlife group that herring gulls are a protected species and that nests should be left alone.
West Sussex Wildlife Protection, which has been rescuing wildlife for more than 15 years, said: “We are asking homeowners to remember that herring gulls are fully protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1984, and are also on a RED endangered list as their numbers have dropped significantly in Europe in the last ten years.
“Therefore their nests should not be disturbed on roof tops and any young ones that fall from the roof need to go back with the parents, where possible, until they take their first complete flight.
“Most people are sympathetic to these birds and see them as a way of life when living near a coastline.
“However, some people are fearful when they swoop down protecting their young.
“There is no need to be, but if worried, rustling a plastic bag or unfurling an umbrella is all that is required for those of a nervous disposition.
“The young stay with parents for two years learning how to adapt.
“We know they are noisy, we know they they can keep people awake, but please treasure them: they are now a rare bird that we are simply lucky enough to have in abundance because of our treasured location by the sea.”