A seagull has been caught on camera killing a smaller bird before swallowing it whole.

Dougie McColl, 51, from Barrhead, Glasgow, watched in horror unfold on his doorstep as he saw an enormous gull attack a doting mother starling as it returned to a nest it had built for its chicks on his neighbour's roof.

The bird tore at the unsuspecting starling with its beak from where it had been lying in wait to pounce as the starling returned from a nearby field to line its nest.

Dougie said: "My roof has turned into the killing fields. "The poor starling chicks were forced to look on as the gull ate their mother in front of them, repeatedly smashing the poor bird's body against the roof tiles to break its bones before gulping it down.

"The gull hangs out the back of our house all the time is pretty formidable. I would have said it was as large as an eagle, it had a wing-span of over a metre.

"I saw the starling come with straw from the field next to my house.

"The gull was successful in grabbing it on this occasion as it got back to the nest, due to poor visibility and rain, so it managed to get hold of the starling.

"This one gull stays close to the nests that the starlings build as it is easy to feed on the unaware parents and chicks and then takes the scraps it requires.

"I watched from the back door of my house as the gull repeatedly battered the starling on the roof tiles of the house opposite me.

"The starlings build their nests on a specific point of the roofs in our area and only the other day I could hear another commotion. There was all sorts of hell going on outside.

"The gull is in fact of a lesser black-backed variety, seagull is what they are commonly known as. "But this species is more dangerous, they are absolutely vicious beyond belief.

"The way they do it is they watch other animals prey on something before they copy the behaviour. It's very clever, actually."

Dougie and his wife Julie have lived in Barrhead for a decade but it was only when they moved to their current house that they began to experience the gulls' vicious behaviour.

Dougie said: "I have lived in Barrhead for 10 years and it didn't happen in our old house it was the crows before.

"To be honest, there is a lot of them and it looks like they are carrying out a bit of a humane cull."