Resident wins the myna bird battle

Melissa Foster is a bird lover but she was horrified to spy an avian romance developing in her Eurobodalla yard.

As a Sydney escapee, Ms Foster knew how efficiently Indian myna birds could overtake a neighbourhood and dislodge native species.

When a pair appeared near her Long Beach home, she knew she had to act.

“In Sydney, you see them everywhere, they are in packs,” Ms Foster said.

“They are pests, they multiply really quickly and they take over all the native holes in trees. We spotted two down here and then that multiplied into six.”

An internet search alerted her to Eurobodalla Shire Council’s trapping program and she became one of an army of bird lovers which has been astonishingly successful in containing the species in the shire.

“We got a cage and fixed it,” she said.

Well, almost.

“They are very cunning,” Ms Foster said. 

“We have always been able to get the young, but never the two original birds. They know the cage.”

Not even Ms Foster’s choicest bait, dog biscuits, can win over the wary parents, but at least a population explosion has been averted.

Ms Foster said she had mixed feelings about the fate of the trapped birds, but native species came first.

“I can understand it is not everyone’s piece of cake,” she said. “You are taking away a life, but they push all the native birds out, so it balances out. 

“There is a council representative who will come and collect the bird and they will euthanase them humanely.”

And bountiful still are her street’s glossy black cockatoos, gang gangs, kookaburras, fire-tail finches, magpie larks, crimson rosellas, king parrots, bower birds and willy wagtails.

“We have stacks of native birds here,” Ms Foster said.

“I love all of them.”

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