Moray Council has launched an appeal to the public aimed at making built-up areas less attractive to nesting gulls.
The move comes at the start of the nesting season that has in recent years produced a large number of complaints about gulls swooping down to steal food from people in the street as they aggressively defend their unfledged chicks.
Herring Gulls have been identified as a particular nuisance in urban areas as they abandon their traditional breeding sites on seaside cliffs to take advantage of the easier pickings in town and villages.
A Council spokesman said: “In an attempt to ensure that the problems we experienced last summer do not recur, we are looking for public support and asking people not to feed gulls, either directly or indirectly.
“Care should be taken to dispose of food waste properly and that includes the remnants of takeaway meals, which seem to be a favourite for gulls.
“Our community wardens will also investigate where there is evidence that people are deliberately feedings gulls and we would urge people to report any neighbours they suspect of putting out food for gulls.”
People are being reminded that where there are problems with gulls nesting on buildings, action can be taken under a general licence which is available from the Scottish Government to authorised person, including the owner or occupier of a building.
Moray Council can take steps to deter gulls from their own buildings – but they are not responsible for doing so in respect of other buildings nor do they have the power to order property owners or occupiers to take action.
Moray Council is to display posters in areas where there have been particular problems in the past while further information about gulls, the general licence and how to complain about people feeding gulls can be found on the Moray Council website.