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The power of wind and sun is being harnessed in a bid to scare off marauding gulls in Inverness

By Neil MacPhail

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Device placed on telephone box to scare off seagulls.
Device placed on telephone box to scare off seagulls.

Mini windmills have been drafted in as part of the effort to deter marauding gulls in Inverness city centre.

The devices resemble wind speed anemometers and are a bright silver in colour making them appear to be flashing - if there is a wind blowing.

They have sparked much interest on social media since they appeared a few days ago on top of BT phone kiosks in Church Street and the High Street opposite the Town House.

Inverness Business Improvement District (BID) today said they are behind appearance of the devices made by a company called Reflect-a-Bird.

BID deputy manager Margaret Laws said: “As part of our gull management programme, two Reflect-A-Bird devices have been installed in the city centre as a trial.

“These small scarecrow-like devices use natural elements to create an eco-friendly and hopefully effective solution using wind and sun against gulls swooping on members of the public who are eating food in the street.

“We are hoping they will have a deterrent effect.”

She added that they were place on the phone kiosks since they are flat-topped and used by gulls lurking in wait of some unsuspecting pedestrian tucking in a burger or packet of crisps.

BID runs the city’s gull control programme with funding from Inverness Common Good Fund and this year they have a budget of almost £14,000. Most of this will go on removing either nests or eggs from gulls’ nest on the many flat roofs in the city centre.

If eggs are removed, they are replaced by replicas for the gulls to sit on.

Earlier this year when the gull programme budget was approved by the Inverness City Committee's Common Good Fund sub committee, councillors heard that the main issue was litter and food waste, and there was a need for better signage to remind people, particularly visitors, not to feed the gulls.

Members agreed also it was necessary to recognise the impact of aggressive dive-bombing gulls on locals and visitors.

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