Cockatoo war in Sydney!

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Raven's picture
Cockatoo war in Sydney!

The Sydney Morning Herald, Sat 03 Sep 2011, page 3:

Beak Hour Traffic Destroying Heritage Buildings:

Residents have tried everything to get rid of them: flashing lights, rubber snakes, spikes on sills, mirrors on windows, chilli oil on woodwork, even lying in wait with hoses or water pistols.

However, the Sulphur Crested Cockatoos of Potts Point, which have caused more than $40,000 worth of damage to one building alone, are absolutely incorrigible, say infuriated residents, whose plan for a cull is stuck in bureaucratic limbo.

Many homes affected are in the heritage-listed, art deco buildings, with wooden windowframes eaten through by the birds. At Kingsclere, a 1912 building on Macleay Street, cockatoos have destroyed slate roof tiles causing them to drop seven storeys to the street.

The birds have also caused damage to Potts Point and Elizabeth Bay apartment buildings, including the Devere Hotel where a neon sign fell after cockatoo sabotage.

Frustrated residents have applied to National Parks & Wildlife Service for a licence to kill cockatoos. Asked how many birds need to be culled to fix the problem, Kingsclere resident David Crompton said: "I don't know, but it seems the same five or six (birds) keep coming>"

The City of Sydney objected to the cull and suggested a trial of a shocktrack system, a non lethal deterrent used successfully at the Cook & Phillip Pool and Woolloomooloo wharves.

A cull of native birds would be tragic said Greens Councillor Irene Doutney, she was also concerned about the safety risks, and the risk of domestic animals eating the poisoned carcasses.

A petition to save the Potts Point cockatoos has gathered more than 500 signatures. "The owners seemed to have made their minds up...that they want the birds killed." Cr Doutney said.

The shocktrack was not an option at this stage, a NPWS spokewoman said, adding that a cull was a last resort. The NPWS and Sydney Council are expoloring all the options available and are committed to working with building owners to implement a management strategy to protect the safety of the public and property in the most humane way.

"Meanwhile, we wait and get chewed to bits", Mr Crompton lamented.

(Shocktrack= a thin plastic tape that can be easily adhered to puts a non lethal shock through and the birds don't come back.)

Qyn's picture

I'd be interested to know what attracted the SCC to those buildings. I have heard of SCC who have destroyed woodwork at homes once supplementary feeding was stopped. However, the SCC had been enticed by the feeding in the first place.

Interesting topic!

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