Swans and Gulls

As a city on a major river, Worcester is home to gulls as well as swans. Small, acrobatic Black Headed Gulls spend the winter here, finding food on playing fields and meadows.  In early spring, Herring Gulls and Lesser Black-backed Gulls arrive for the summer to use the City’s buildings as stand-in cliffs for their nests.  They spend a lot of time sitting on the river, just as they would on the sea.

Whilst the gulls add something of the seaside to the riverside, our summer visiting gulls cause problems for people living in the City Centre with their noise and bird droppings, and for people who are injured during gull raids on their food.

The Council, however, supports the public’s feeding of swans, which have far fewer options for finding food than gulls. Worcester City Council, however, supports asking people not to feed the gulls around the centre of the City, backing up their request with fines for persistent offenders. With a little thought, it’s easy to feed swans without feeding gulls too.  Here’s what you need to know:

  • Wait until the swans arrive right in front of you before feeding. 

  • Keep the food close in to the sides of the river, to make it harder for the gulls to swoop in. 

  • Look for swans with their heads up, looking towards you.  Drop the food right in front of them, so they reach it before the gulls do. 

Feeding swans is much more enjoyable when you pay closer attention.  You’ll find that most of the gulls will just sit on the water, watching and calling.

Images: Wikipedia.org