THEY’RE loud, often destructive but can also be cute and entertaining if you have long enough to sit and watch them.
But the latest flock of Corellas (Licmetis - a category of white cockatoos) that have descended on the Nowra CBD are definitely living up to the name for a collective group of parrots.
Rather than being a pandemonium, the thousands of birds which can descend on the CBD at all times of the day are causing just that pandemonium.
As well as stripping many of the trees around the town, leading to copious amounts of droppings, the corellas are also doing their best to destroy rubber around windows, skylights and street lights, air conditioning units - virtually anything they can find.
Even fairy lights in Junction Street, Nowra and in Jelly Bean Park haven’t escaped the carnage, suffering damage at the hands of birds with an appetite any carnivorous beast would be proud of.
A number of building owners have spoken of the bird’s ferocious eating habits, including raising concerns about them eating the rubber around windows, fearing the damage might result in the glass falling from the frames and possibly injuring people.
Shoalhaven City Council director Assets and Works Ben Stewart said the corellas were causing considerable damage in the CBD and extra work for council staff cleaning up after their ferocious feeding frenzies.
“We are looking forward to them [the corellas] moving on,” Mr Stewart said.
“But at the moment there is a source of food in the area and they are making the most of it.
“They have moved through the CBD and are attacking parts of North Street now.”
He said council couldn’t do anything to prevent the damage apart from trying to restrict roosting sites.
“We are aware of damage being caused and of councils in other areas where there has been more significant issues with damage, even to playing fields,” he said.
He said “minor damage” had been caused to sections of the fairy lights.
“The birds have damaged some of the cabling system,” he said.
“But because we have a snapping system we can simply remove the affected area and replace it.
“Fortunately, it hasn’t damaged the whole system.”
He said repairs were expected to cost “hundreds of dollars” and maintenance teams were looking at the damage.
“But I think we will wait for the birds to move on before fixing them,” he said.
He said council maintenance teams were cleaning up stripped trees and the birds’ droppings in the CBD on a daily basis.
National Parks and Wildlife Service said corellas, like all native species, are protected.
“However, if the species is shown to be a threat to human safety or causing economic hardship, land managers may apply for a licence under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 to remove a set number of the animals,” a NPWS spokesperson if required.
“Corellas are generally more prevalent in areas west of the Great Dividing Range, but flocks have established in areas outside this range including Nowra, for reasons not totally clear.
“The majority of corellas in Nowra are little corellas and the population does seem to have increased in recent years.
“NPWS is in contact with Shoalhaven Council about the corellas in Nowra, including their impacts and potential options.”