Peterhead is to be one of three towns that will have hawks patrolling the skies in anticipation of seagull nesting.
Fraserburgh and Stonehaven will also benefit from the services of NBC Bird & Pest Soloutions who have been called in by Aberdeenshire council to deal with the birds.
It is illegal to kill gulls and their young but nests and eggs can be removedbefore they hatch.
The nesting period typically begins in April and the council is leading by example and encouraging its communities to take action now to reduce the long-term effects of nuisance gulls.
Special rates have been negotiated for all local home and business owners who wish to have anti-nesting devices installed on their properties.
The principle deterrent methods include fitting long spikes to places like chimney stacks, fitting wires or nets to prevent gulls landing and the disturbance of nesting sites, including removal of nests and eggs.
Head of Protective Services and Waste Management, Ian Robertson, explains: “There is no quick fix for dealing with nuisance gulls but the home treatments that can be installed are effective and provide a long-term deterrent against the birds.
“As a building owner, the council is leading the way in assessing its buildings and will be undertaking nest and egg removal from them.
“The council has also produced 2,000 copies of our Seagull Survivor’s Guide with full details of how the public can deal with nuisance gulls.
“If you would like Pro-Check Environmental Services to install anti-nesting devices or undertake nest removal, please telephone (0844) 800 6484.”
A falconer was employed in Peterhead in August 2014 at a cost of £2,200, funded through Peterhead Town Centre regeneration funding, with similar costs incurred in Stonehaven the same month.