Birds stealing covering of my my clothesline!

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jonnoaus69's picture
Birds stealing covering of my my clothesline!

Hello; I am a brand new member of BiB.  I live in Kangaroo Valley in the Shoalhaven area of NSW, 160 kms S of Sydney.  I have lived here for over 13 years.  I have many types of birds visiting my garden/backyard.  Most predominant are the white cockies, but, from time time to time, the wonderful yellow-winged black cockatoos which are magnificent - but fewer visits on the past two years. 

Now: I have an issue; ever since I moved here I have had a rotary clothes line ('Hills' type) in my backyard.  Never had issues with birds before - occasionally kookaburras would perch looking for lunch on the grass below.  However, last spring, birds, mainly I believe, grey butcherbirds, started attacking the outer plastic covering and taking it away for nests.  It is a cream/white colour.  They absolutely wrecked the lines. I have had to replace them and am about to install the new line which is yellow coloured.  I am worried that this might even be MORE attractive to birds this spring.  Thought of covering it with something, non-toxic - maybe Vaseline, but don't really know.  Can anyone give me some advice on this?

Qyn's picture

It is probably too late as you have bought the yellow line but there is an alternative green line which is usually more robust

and this blue one

I have no affililation with these companies but have used the green line as a weighted line for throw nets and find it very long lasting - the blue line has also been used to make another product that for patent reasons I cannot mention but it was bought for its long lasting nature. It might be worth a look and possibly more cost and time effective to buy and use it instead if you are just going to have to replace the line you are about to install. Can you return the line you have now?

"the earth is not only for humans, but for all animals and living things."

Elsie's picture

I had the same problem with my washing line. The noisy miners would come and pull the cottony stuff from inside the line, they used it in their nests. However, once they had completely destroyed the washing line we bought the new green line. since then we haven't had a problemsmiley

Araminta's picture

Could it be that there isn't enough natural nesting material around? This might be a strange idea, but I alway stick some dog hair (my dog sheds a lot) to the washing line. Also some staw from the chook pen. They don't bother with anything else.

The old type of Hills Hoist used to have metal wires, didn't they? I've got rolls of it in my shed, the kind you use for fences.


Woko's picture

I asked myself the same question, Araminta, & have wondered if birds would prefer their natural nesting material if it was available. Long term, there may be an advantage in planting the birds' natural habitat if that's possible. Otherwise, jonnoaus, I guess you'll need to resort to Araminta's dog hair & Qyn & Elsie's green line type of ideas.

jonnoaus69's picture

Thanks to A.  Sounds like the green line might be better.  I checked the SuperHardware website.  The green line seems a little more expensive than the yellow one I bought.  However, I haven't installed that yet.  It can always be kept for when I may move elsewhere.  Meanwhile, I will be passing by a Bunnings store tomorrow when I go shopping - will check if they have the green one.  If not I may well order the one mentioned via the website you supplied.  Thanks for the advice.

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