Who’s a pesty polly?

JUST 10 escaped birds started it all, and now Hyde Park is plagued by rainbow lorikeets.

Back in the 1960s fewer than 10 of the pretty but nasty eastern states birds were “either deliberately released or had escaped” according to the WA agriculture and food department.

Fifty years later the population’s booming, with complaints about bird poo everywhere, chewing of fruit and damage to vehicles. A gang of the birds even threatens the airport, posing a bird-strike risk to aircraft.

The pretty pollies are so pesky that in the south-west land division they can be legally shot on private land without the need for a licence.

10. 850NEWS

• Rainbow lorikeets: Pretty but a pest. Photo by Matthew Dwyer

The creatures are known for aggressively defending nests and crowding out native birds. Voice reader Tony Simpkins reports that down at Hyde Park they’ve driven out all 28 native parrots.

He says they “make a visit to the park almost unbearable, with their excessive noise and excreta”. While Mr Simpkins wonders what Vincent council is doing about the plague, CEO Len Kosova says it’s largely a WA government issue.

“The city does not budget to contribute to any rainbow lorikeet control measures,” he says, noting it’s the responsibility of the Rainbow Lorikeet Working Group, a cabal of a half-dozen government agencies.

He says all sightings and problems should be reported to the agriculture and food department.

by DAVID BELL

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