Alkmaar became the first local council in the Netherlands to install a designated roof for nesting seagulls. Seagulls have been given two unique roofs on industrial land to alleviate the annoyances caused by birds to the locals.

Seagulls usually return to their first nest location, which can cause ongoing problems for those who live with them. “We woke up at 5 am with a seagull bark. When we walk the dogs, they bomb me to protect their children,” Katinka Kerssens told RTL Nieuws.

The roof aims to provide the seagulls with an “optimal environment,” urban ecologist Roland-Jan Buijs told broadcasters. Chickes are ringed to see if they return to the roof to build their own nest.

Roofs are part of the city’s overall strategy to discourage birds from nesting in the city, Buijs said. Other measures include anointing the eggs to prevent them from hatching. This is how the court recently gave a green light, despite protests by the Bird Protecting Group.

The organization has approved the roof, said Rob Struyk of Vogelbescherming Alkmaar. “It’s the beginning, but not enough for Alkmaar. Seagulls can reach the age of 30 or 40 and like to return to the same place every year,” he said.

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