An RSPCA team in Hastings has cared for more than 700 seagulls in one month.
A total of 773 seagulls were admitted to the charity’s centres at Mallydrams Woodin July, the most in the UK during that period.
Nationally the charity has admitted more than 1,850 this summer, and has issued tips on how to tell when a seagull needs rescuing.
Simon Fathers, manager of the RSPCA Mallydams Wood wildlife centres said:
“We are looking after hundreds of gulls at the moment.
“Some of of the younger ones are recorded as having injuries and a few of the adults are suffering from botulism.
“But there is still a large percentage of the gulls that are brought to the centre which are recorded as orphaned or grounded and may have been ‘rescued’ by worried members of the public who have mistakenly thought a gull exhibiting natural behaviours needed help.”
The organisation claims it is easy for people to mistake typical behaviour as a sign the bird has been orphaned, abandoned or are in need of help.
Llewelyn Lowen, RSPCA wildlife information officer said:
“If you are worried about a young bird, the golden rule is to monitor it from a distance.
“If you find a fully feathered gull the odds are that it is fine and it is just behaving naturally.
“Even if it’s on the ground, the young gull probably hasn’t been abandoned or orphaned and should be left alone unless it is sick, injured or in a dangerous situation, for example, in a busy road or car park, in which case they will need urgent help.”
Earlier this summer Sussex charity WADARS were inundated with calls about gull chicks.
According to the RSPCA, although young gulls might not be able to fly yet, they will leave their nest and spend some time being fed by their parents, while their flight muscles and feathers develop.
The charity said if a gull is found still covered in fluffy ‘down’, and it runs away rather than flies, then it may need a little help.
Their advice is to put it on a roof or high place such as a fence or wall near where it was found, and then monitor it for 24 hours.
If you see an animal you have concerns about you can call the RSPCA’s emergency line on 0300 1234 999.