Bird decimation blamed on poison
A little piece of Mt Roskill that used to be alive with birds is now a barren ‘‘desert’’ devoid of life.
The property owner says poison is to blame.
This summer the Mt Roskill pensioner, who asked not to be named, says she has revived several birds that mysteriously became unwell on her property.
When she discovered what appeared to be bird feed scattered on her driveway it occurred to her that something sinister could be at play.
She thinks someone is lacing wheat with poison and throwing it into her property to counter her bird feeding efforts.
‘‘We’ve had pigeons, sparrows, waxeyes and blackbirds all vanish out of our backyard,’’ she says.
‘‘It upsets me considerably. It’s not very nice to find dead and dying birds.
‘‘It used to be our lawns would be alive and moving with birdlife. Now it’s dead empty, like a desert.’’
Auckland Bird Rescue manager Lyn Macdonald is aware of the problem.
She says it’s quite common for residents who are not fond of birds to take matters into their own hands with an over-the-counter poison.
‘‘It is a problem,’’ she says. ‘‘ Anyone can buy alpha-chloralose across the counter and fling it about willy-nilly.
‘‘You can mix it with bread or wheat and spread it about and birds eat it. ‘‘We get lots of calls about this.’’ She says it should not be readily available and pest management should be left to the professionals.
The poison causes the birds to go into a stupor and anyone using it is supposed to gather up the poisoned birds and kill them humanely.
The Mt Roskill woman says she understands the need for controlling some species of birds but it should be done correctly.
‘‘What about our tui and fantails and native pigeons? Why should they suffer?’’