Residents using traps to catch Indian myna birds
THEY might look cute with their bright yellow beaks but the Indian myna birds are nasty little feathered critters that are doing bad things to our parrots and other native birds.
Their curiosity, love for gorging on easy food, and a new Northern Rivers trapping program is putting curry to their rapid population growth as more Lismore residents and the region's farmers take advantage of Lismore City Council's special myna traps.
Nick Stephens, the council's natural resources management officer, said more than 200 of the pest Myna birds, an introduced species, have been caught using 35 funnel traps loaned to residents
The birds are listed in the top 100 most invasive species in the world.
Mr Stephens said it was likely that the region was home to thousands of the birds that had 'invaded' from both the south and from Queensland.
“They are very aggressive and gang up on our native birds,” he said.
“The traps help ease the pressure on our natives.”
He said the traps entice as many as 10 to 15 of the birds at one time.
Pig growth pellets in the traps do a great job at catching the little pests, Goolmangar farmer Darryl Rose said.
He has used the traps for three months and this week caught his 69th Indian myna.
“We get one or two birds in as decoys and others soon follow to investigate. They are very inquisitive birds,” Mr Rose said.
“This season they have already bred and we are controlling the young as when one goes in the young will follow.”
Just 12 months ago Mr Rose could easily count 100 of the birds on power lines near his home but their numbers have taken a battering since putting the traps on the roof of the piggery.
“They like eating stock feed like pig grower pellets so I put that in the traps,” he explained.
“They are very aggressive birds that camp in colonies and chase off and attack our native birds.
“I'd like to eradicate them completely but we need many more people to get involved.
“They are cunning so we will never get all of them to go into the traps. If someone could shoot those that won't get into the traps it would help.”
Mr Rose has already noticed more native birds on his property including blue cranes and owls with young, a sight he had not seen for some years and which he blames on habitat pressure from the Indian mynas.