Pigeon (columbia livia)

The Rock Dove, more commonly referred to as a Pigeon (“Rat With Wings”), these pigeons have totally adapted their lives to a human created urban environment. Perhaps the most ever-present pest bird, pigeons have become the most serious bird pest associated with buildings. Pigeons nest in various protected locations, such as the underside of bridges, building ledges, rafters in buildings and other open buildings, roofs, air conditioners, signs, etc.

IDENTIFICATION: Approximately 13 inches (33 cm) long, varies in colour from white to black. Most are characterized by a dark grey head with iridescent sheen, a light grey back and wings with two dark bands. The Rock Dove has a stocky body with short legs, a short neck and a small head. During flight, the tip of the tail is usually square and black.

BIOLOGY & BREEDING: Their loosely constructed nests usually consist of sticks, stems, leaves and other debris. Nests that are reused often become solid with the accumulation of droppings and debris. Pigeons can breed at the age of six months. They lay normally two eggs in a flimsy nest constructed in a sheltered site, and incubate them for 16-18 days. The young feed for several weeks on “Pigeon Milk” from their parents. They leave the nest after five weeks, but still rely upon parental feeding for a further week or two before becoming independent. By this time the parents are able to commence the breeding cycle again, and this ability to breed up to six times per year allows the Pigeon population to rapidly expand or replenish itself. Pigeon populations are primarily dependent upon the availability of food, which is of great importance when considering population control.

HABITS & DAMAGE: Nesting in small communities, Pigeons often emerge from their nesting and roosting place to join a flock to make up hundreds of birds. In contrast to many other bird species, Pigeons prefer flat and smooth surfaces, open spaces such as rooftops and open ground, for resting and feeding. If threatened, these locations afford them a quick get away. Pigeons gather in flocks that use the same roosting and feeding areas. Feeding usually occurs no more than a few miles from the roosting site. In urban environments when present in large numbers, serious problems can arise from fouling caused by bird droppings, spreading of diseases and also they can nest in locations that can cause severe damage.

Pigeon Control

Effective control strategies for Pigeons as follows:

    • Netting – The most effective product for the 100% Exclusion of Pigeons in all situations.
    • Bird Shock Track – This system is ideal in most situations because the system provides an intermittent shock that simply teaches the Pigeons to stay away, long term.
    • Bird Spikes – The use of Bird Spikes consisting of UV-stabilised bases with stainless steel wires are perfect for Pigeons in an environment where the impact pressure is light to medium.
    • Bird Slope – A brilliant proofing system that will keep Pigeons of ledges permantely.
    • Post & Wire – Will stop Pigeons from perching on a variety of ledges, guttering and piping.
    • Trapping – This strategy in certain situations will greatly assist in reducing the amount of feral Pigeons in an area where there is a heavy Pigeon infestation found.
    • Avicides – Only to be carried out by licensed technicians and is limited to be carried out in precise situations and environments for feral Pigeon control.
    • Bristle Strips and Bird Guard Systems – A proofing solution to exclude Pigeons from seeking out their favourite harbourages where it is not practicable to install other deterrent products.

Sparrow (passer domesticus)

The House / English Sparrow, well established in rural and urban settings, has a both rural and urban impact. They are aggressive and compete with native birds for nesting sites and food. They are quite clever and well known to enter buildings by flying up to door sensors to open doors to then gain access to their regular feeding site. By doing this they often contaminate food products or other merchandises, creating mess and may assist in the spread of diseases such as salmonella and tuberculosis.

IDENTIFICATION: Approximately 15 centimetres long. Colour varies with the gender. Males have a black patch under the beak, on the cheeks and on the rump. In the winter, the grey feather tips hide these black areas. The top of the male Sparrow’s head is grey-white. Females and young Sparrows are dull brown, with a dirty white breast and brow.

BIOLOGY & BREEDING:M Sparrows prefer to nest in protected man-made and natural areas. Both male and female sparrows construct a large and flimsy nest from straw, grass, feathers, strips of paper, string and other debris. The eggs are white, bluish-white or greenish-white, spotted with brown or grey and clutches usually contain 4 or 5 eggs. The following are popular sparrow nesting and roosting sites:

    • In trees and bushes
    • Building ledges
    • Openings in structures
    • Gutters
    • Signs
    • Light fixtures
    • Beneath the eaves of a house

HABITS & DAMAGE: Sparrows cause considerable damage, as they foul structures with their droppings, particularly those areas used for roosting and loafing sites. Sparrows also create problems by entering food plants, warehouses, department stores and malls where they are scouting for an opportunity to find a quick and easy feed as individuals need to consume as much as 6 grams per day.

Sparrow Control

Effective control strategies for Sparrows as follows:

    • Netting – The most effective product for the 100% Exclusion of feral sparrows in all situations.
    • Bird Shock Track – This system is ideal in most situations because the system provides an intermittent shock that simply teaches the Sparrows to stay away, long term.
    • Bird Slope – A brilliant proofing system that will keep sparrows of ledges permantely.
    • Mist Netting/Live Bird Capture – This innovative strategy can be implemented to catch feral Sparrows. It can be used inside any food manufacturing, preparation, warehousing environments, shopping centres and anywhere the use of poisons (Avicides) is not an option.
    • Trapping – This method in certain situations can be very effective where there is a heavy Sparrow infestation.
    • Avicides – Only to be carried out by licensed technicians and limited to be carried out in precise situations and environments for feral Sparrow management.
    • Bristle Strips and Bird Guard Systems – A proofing solution to exclude Sparrows from seeking out their favourite harbourages where it is not practicable to install other deterrent products.

European Starling (sturnus vulgaris)

The European or Common Starling has been labelled as one of the world’s 100 most invasive species. Starlings have been established in eastern Australia since the late 1800′s with detrimental impacts on the native bird populations. They are comfortable nesting in roof and ceiling cavities and can cause significant damage and create a significant mess and health issue when nesting in confined roof and cavity spaces.

IDENTIFICATION: Starlings are a small bird between 20 and 22cm in length with metallic green, black and purple feathers. Prior to the breeding season they have a black beak and white tipped feathers which give them a speckled appearance. During breeding they lose their speckle sand, their beak becomes yellow in colour.

BIOLOGY & BREEDING:Starlings are native to Europe, Asia and North Africa, but have been introduced to many other parts of the world. The starling breeding season occurs mainly in spring and summer, from September to December, but can be anywhere between July and March. Most species nest in holes, laying between 4 and 8 blue or white eggs and can raise up to three broods per season.

HABITS & DAMAGE: Starlings are highly adaptable birds that can live in different habitats and feed on many food sources such as grains, fruit and garbage. Starlings aggressively take over and defend hollows suitable for nesting. Less aggressive birds with similar nesting habits and nest size are at greatest risk of displacement.

Silver Gull (larus novaehollandae)

The Silver Gull have been undergoing a remarkable increase in numbers in most cities in southern Australia, The Silver Gull also known simply as “Seagull”, the most common gull seen in Australia. It has been found throughout the continent, but particularly in coastal areas largely due to access to foods at rubbish tips, sewage outfalls and has been found found thriving around shopping centres.

IDENTIFICATION: The head, body and tail are white. The wings are light grey with white spotted, black tips. Adults range from 40-45 cm in length. Juveniles have brown patterns on their wings, and a dark beak. Adults have bright red beaks – the brighter the red, the older the bird.

BIOLOGY & BREEDING: The primary Gull in Australia is the Silver Gull. Breeding generally occurs from August to December but they are known to nest all year round depending on their environment. The nest is located on the ground and consists of seaweed, roots and plant stems. The nests may be found in low shrubs, rocks and jetties, but they are also found nesting in an urban environment on roofs, in gutters, around air conditioning, plant and machinery.

A typical clutch size is around 1-3 eggs.

Starling Control

Effective control strategies for Starlings as follows:

    • Netting – The most effective product for the 100% Exclusion of Starlings in all situations.
    • Bird Shock Track – This system is ideal in most situations because the system provides an intermittent shock that simply teaches the Starlings to stay away, long term.
    • Bird Slope – A brilliant proofing system that will keep Starlings of ledges permantely.
    • Bird Spikes – The use of Bird Spikes consisting of UV-stabilised bases with stainless steel wires are perfect for Starlings in an environment, where the Starlings’ impact pressure is light to medium.
    • Post & Wire – Will stop Starlings from perching on a variety of ledges, guttering and piping.
    • Mist Netting/Live Bird Capture – This innovative strategy that can be implemented to catch and remove Starlings. It can be used inside any food manufacturing, preparation, warehousing environments, shopping centres and anywhere the use of poisons (Avicides) is not an option.
    • Trapping – This method can be a very effective strategy in certain situations where there is a heavy Starling infestation.
    • Avicides – Only to be carried out by licensed technicians and limited to be carried out in precise situations and environments for the control of Starlings.
    • Bristle Strips and Bird Guard Systems – A proofing solution to exclude Starlings from seeking out their favourite harbourages where it is not practicable to install any other deterrent product.

Silver Gull (larus novaehollandae)

The Silver Gull have been undergoing a remarkable increase in numbers in most cities in southern Australia, The Silver Gull also known simply as “Seagull”, the most common gull seen in Australia. It has been found throughout the continent, but particularly in coastal areas largely due to access to foods at rubbish tips, sewage outfalls and has been found found thriving around shopping centres.

IDENTIFICATION: The head, body and tail are white. The wings are light grey with white spotted, black tips. Adults range from 40-45 cm in length. Juveniles have brown patterns on their wings, and a dark beak. Adults have bright red beaks – the brighter the red, the older the bird.

BIOLOGY & BREEDING: The primary Gull in Australia is the Silver Gull. Breeding generally occurs from August to December but they are known to nest all year round depending on their environment. The nest is located on the ground and consists of seaweed, roots and plant stems. The nests may be found in low shrubs, rocks and jetties, but they are also found nesting in an urban environment on roofs, in gutters, around air conditioning, plant and machinery.
A typical clutch size is around 1-3 eggs.

HABITS & DAMAGE: It is a successful scavenger, allowing increased numbers near human settlements. Silver Gulls can create a hazard by roosting and nesting on roofs, which can cause blocked gutters with regurgitated bones and nesting material. When Gulls roost near car parks, their faeces can damage the paint work on cars. They may also contaminate water storages, picnic areas and public swimming pools with faeces and regurgitated matter. They are also very common to disturb staff with noise, odours and by swooping during nesting season.

Seagull Control

Effective control strategies for Seagulls as follows:

    • Seagull Exclusion System – This system that has been specially designed and installed only by Elite Bird Control will provide 100% Exclusion against all Seagulls in all situations.
    • Bird Shock Track – This system is ideal in most situations when installed on ledges since the system provides an intermittent shock that will simply teach the Seagulls to stay away, long term.
    • Bird Slope – A brilliant proofing system that will keep Seagulls of ledges permantely.
    • Bird Spikes – The use of Bird Spikes consisting of UV-stabilised bases with stainless steel wires, specifically designed for Seagulls, are perfect to keep them off any ledges.
    • Bristle Strips and Bird Guard Systems – A proofing solution to exclude Seagulls from seeking out their favourite harbourages where it is not practicable to install any other deterrent product.

Indian Myna (acridotheres tristis)

Indian Myna’s, also known as “Cane Toads With Wings” are a devastating environment problem. An omnivorous open woodland bird, they have a strong territorial instinct. The Myna has adapted extremely well to urban environments and competes strongly with most native birds. Mynas become quite fearless of people if they are not hassled, and can be a problem in outdoor eating areas by stealing food off people’s plates.

They are also not to be confused with the Noisy Miner, an Australian native bird.

IDENTIFICATION: The Common Myna is readily identified by having a chocolate brown body, about 12 cm tall black hooded head and neck, and has a yellow beak, feet and legs and patch behind the eye. The bill and legs are bright yellow. There is a white patch on the outer primaries and the wing lining on the underside is white.

The Noisy Miner has a black head, a yellow beak, white under body, pale grey feathers, a longer tail and flesh coloured legs.

BIOLOGY & BREEDING:The Common Myna / Indian Myna is a member of the Starling family. It is a species of bird native to Asia with its initial home range spanning from Iran, Pakistan, India and Kazakhstan to Malaysia and China. In an urban environment the Common Myna thrives in urban and suburban environments – in Canberra, for instance, 110 Common Mynas were released between 1968 and 1971. By 1991, Common Myna population density in Canberra averaged 15 birds per square kilometer. Only three years later, a second study found an average population density of 75 birds per square kilometer in the same area. They are believed to mate for life. They breed through much of the year depending on the location, building their nest in a hole in a tree or wall. The normal clutch is 4-6 eggs.

HABITS & DAMAGE: Common Indian Mynas can be an economic problem because they damage fruit and grain and their noise and smell can be annoying when they are in large numbers. The Common Myna is a hollow-nesting species – that is, it nests and breeds in protected hollows found either naturally in trees or artificially on buildings (for example, recessed window sills or low eaves). Compared to native hollow-nesting species, the Common Myna is extremely aggressive, and breeding males will actively defend areas ranging up to 0.83 hectares in size. This aggressiveness has enabled the Common Myna to displace many breeding pairs of native hollow-nesters, thereby reducing their reproductive success. In particular, the reproduction rates of native hollow-nesting parrots in the bush land of Eastern Australia have been reduced by up to 80%.

The Common Myna is also known to maintain up to two roosts simultaneously: a temporary summer roost close to a breeding site (where the entire local male community sleeps during the summer, the period of highest aggression), and a permanent all-year roost where the female broods and incubates overnight. Both male and female Common Mynas will fiercely protect both roosts at all times, leading to further exclusion of native birds. Mynas can also spread mites and they have the potential to spread diseases to people and domestic animals.

Indian Myna Control

Effective control strategies for Indian Mynas as follows:

    • Netting – The most effective product for the 100% Exclusion of Indian Mynas in all situations.
    • Bird Shock Track – This system is ideal in most situations because the system provides an intermittent shock that simply teaches the Indian Mynas to stay away, long term.
    • Bird Slope – A brilliant proofing system that will keep Indian Mynas of ledges permantely.
    • Mist Netting/Live Bird Capture – This innovative strategy can be implemented to catch and remove Indian Mynas. It can be used inside any food manufacturing, preparation, warehousing environments, shopping centres and anywhere the use of poisons (Avicides) is not an option.
    • Trapping – This method is very effective in certain situations, where there are Indian Mynas present.
      Avicides – Only to be carried out by licensed technicians and is limited to be carried out in precise situations and environments for the control of Indian Mynas.
    • Bristle Strips and Bird Guard Systems – A proofing solution to exclude Indian Mynas from seeking out their favourite harbourages and where it is not practicable to install any other deterrent products.

Other Pest Bird Species

Effective control strategies for other pest bird species as follows:

    • Netting – The most effective control strategy for 100 % Exclusion for all pest birds in all situations.
    • Bird Shock Track – This system is ideal in most situations because the system provides an intermittent shock that simply teaches all pest birds to stay away, long term.
    • Bird Slope – A brilliant proofing system that will keep all pest birds of ledges permantely.
    • Mist Netting/Live Bird Capture – This innovative strategy can be implemented to catch and remove pest birds that become trapped and found unwanted inside buildings. They can be caught and removed without suffering any harm or becoming too stressed.
    • Trapping – This method can be a useful tool that can be applied in certain situations where it is necessary to catch and remove birds that have found themselves trapped.

Please note:

In Australia all native birds are protected under the “Wildlife Act 1981″ and every precaution must be taken to ensure they do not suffer any harm. Some pest species can be caught and relocated or euthanized, though this will require a permit or licence.