Most Australian birds are harmless creatures and mere joys of nature. However, there are some pest species around the Brisbane area. The most common of these are Pigeons, Sparrows, Minor Birds and Starlings.
Having birds around your home or business is more than an inconvenience they can deface buildings and damage cars with their acidic droppings. But there is a much bigger concern with pest and birds than mere damage to a building, these birds can pose a severe health risk to humans. Fungal organisms like histoplasmosis, cryptococcosis and aspergillosis are commonly found in bird droppings. When the spores from these fungal organisms become airborne they can be inhaled, where they will cause influenza-like symptoms. In the elderly or others with a compromised immune system, it can develop in to more serious and even deadly illnesses.
Birds also offer a safe haven for fleas and bird mites. The fleas and mites feed off the birds in their nest and when the birds leave their nest these little predators come searching for us. The bites from bird mites can be quite painful and flea and mite populations can build up very quickly.
If you have a bird problem call Termite Choices today to have one of our expert technicians come and assess the problem.
The most common way birds gain entry to a building is under roof tiles, under broken ridge capping, drain hole pipes, chimneys and vents. In fact, a gap as small as a 50c piece is big enough for a bird to get into a building. Once inside the building they love to roost on exposed ledges, window sills, air-conditioning units, verandas, garages and many more. Sometimes birds will nest in down pipes or in guttering systems, causing problems with water flow and even causing moisture damage to internal walls.
Rock Dove – Feral Pigeon
The Feral Pigeon is a descendant of the domestic homing pigeons introduced to Australia from Europe in the 1600’s’s. Several traits have allowed feral flocks to increase in numbers and dominate the urban landscape due to the availability of food, fresh water and secure breeding sites. As a result, there has been an increase in feral pigeon numbers in. Action needs to be taken to help rectify the feral pigeon problem before the problem escalates.
The standard Feral Pigeon is generally blue-grey with a white rump it has iridescent feathers on head and neck and two broad black bars across each wing and a broad dark band across the end of the tail. They can also display white, brown or grey plumage.
A Feral Pigeon will live between 3-4 years in the wild, up to 16 years in captivity. Pigeons are monogamous and a mating pair will have 3 to 4 broods per year of 1-2 eggs each. Eggs are a solid white colour and hatch in 18 days, and the young leave the nest within 35 days. Pigeons do not migrate, staying near their birth site (which may be your home).
Indian Myna Bird
The Common or Indian Myna, identified by its yellow beak and eye patch, and brown body, is an introduced pest bird and their population is spreading rapidly. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature has ranked the Myna amongst the world’s 100 most invasive pest species.
They are territorial and highly aggressive birds who compete with and displace native wildlife for habitat areas. They take over tree hollows and plug up nest sites they are not using, forcing possums and birds out and ejecting nestlings and eggs from their nests. They also compete with native fauna for food and habitat.
It is important to distinguish the pest Indian Myna from the common Noisy Miner. Indian Mynas are predominantly brown with a black head. In flight, white wing patches are clearly visible. Noisy Miners are native birds that are predominantly grey.
The House Sparrow was introduced from Britain between 1863 and 1870. Firstly in Victoria, but later into other areas including Sydney, Brisbane and Hobart. It quickly established itself in urban areas throughout eastern Australia.
House Sparrows are actually large finches. They are usually seen in small to medium-sized groups, but may occur in huge numbers. The male has a conspicuous grey crown, black face and throat, and dark black and brown upper parts. The remainder of the under parts are pale grey-brown. When breeding, the black of the throat extends to the chest and upper belly. The bill also changes from brown to black.
The female is slightly paler than the male and lacks the grey crown and black face, instead
having a pale buff eye stripe. Young House Sparrows are similar to the adult female, but are duller with some mottling on the crown, and have a darker bill. House Sparrows occur in and around human habitation, as well as cultivated areas and some wooded country.
One reason for the successful establishment of the House Sparrow in Australia and, indeed, all over the world, is its ability to feed on a wide range of foodstuffs. Birds eat insects, spiders, berries, seeds, flower buds and scraps of food discarded by humans. There are many reports of birds entering canteens in buildings to feed, with birds even learning to activate automatic doors in order to gain entry.
Although the introduction of the House Sparrow was deliberate, and welcomed by many people, it quickly became a major pest, and a reward was paid by the government for the birds and their eggs. Today, the species is so well established in the east that no amount of effort will exterminate the ever-expanding population. The birds however have so far been prevented from establishing themselves in Western Australia, with every bird observed being deliberately destroyed.
Once a common bird of European deciduous woodlands (now in more rural and urban areas), the Common Starling was introduced into Australia in the late 1850s through to 1870. It has become well established and is expanding its range. In Australia, the Common Starling has become a familiar sight around human habitation throughout the east and south-east.
The Common Starling has a wide variation in plumage. Both sexes are similar, although the female is less glossy than the male. In autumn, when the plumage is new, birds are glossed black, with a purple and green shine, and the tips of the body feathers have large white spots.
At this time the bill is dark and the legs are brown. With wear, the white spots are lost, while the bill and legs turn yellow. During the breeding season adults become glossy-black without any spots. Young birds are dull grey-brown.
Common Starlings are most often seen searching for seeds and insects on lawns and in paddocks. Other food includes spiders, worms, human scraps and fruit crops. Birds feed mainly on the ground and often in vast flocks.
The Common Starling is a prominent bird in open cultivated areas, and is a well-known pest of orchards.
Our objective at Termite Choices is to clear your environment from bird pests by making their roosting and nesting sites inaccessible. We use various methods but are always committed to using only methods that are safe and humane.
When a Termite Choices technician has assessed the situation at your home or premises they will discuss with you the best method of getting rid of the birds which may include netting or bird spikes.
Everyone’s health protected through Effective pest prevention – call Termite Choices for a Free Quote.