Whether you are walking in a park or along the Swan River you can’t miss the thousands of Corella birds. They are medium-sized white parrots. The tourists are amazed by their presence. Philipp and I had no clue that these birds lived in this part of the world. We were so surprised to see so many of them all around us. Tourists think the white parrots are beautiful to look at and photograph.
The locals, on the other hand, find Corellas to be pests and a nuisance. These parrots live up to 50 years old and are not native to the area. The Corella parrot migrated from eastern Australia. The citizens of Perth are not enthralled by these birds. I learned that in 1998 Perth was the home to about 1,000 of them but they have seen a 900% increase since then.
“Perthies” (people from Perth) blame them for terrorizing parks and damaging trees, streetlights, and power lines. They love to wreak havoc on gardens and have been known to destroy timber furniture. Sadly, the birds chew on non-food items, which is necessary for the parrots to maintain their beaks to optimum shape and size. Not only do they cause damage, but they are noisy we are told. The huge flocks of Corella’s squawk all day long annoying people around town.
The first idea was to gas them, but the council scrapped the idea a few months ago. To us, this sounded a bit brutal. They continue evaluating a better solution to control this problem.
Other ideas are netting them and relocating them. Also, the uses of lasers or strobe lights as a nonlethal way of controlling the flocks. Some believe that none of these measures will help only shift the problems elsewhere. They are exploring the idea of sterilizing the birds but that will not solve the dilemma they are facing today. This quandary is not only in the city of Perth but in many cities in Australia.
They are asking tourists and parkgoers to stop feeding them. Many believe it will be the most effective way of reducing the numbers of Corella parrots. I am not sure about that, when we were sitting along the river the birds were eating nuts from a local tree.
We personally feel their pain, we have experienced a bird hassle. I remember in Denver Colorado having issues with woodpeckers pecking holes in our home. It drove us crazy. We tried so many different solutions to keep them away. We finally had to change the home siding to stop the madness. I know that with time this community will come up with the proper solution. In the meantime stop feeding the wildlife.