By Mitchell Clarke
A so-called ‘cockatoo plague’ has hit the Cardinia Shire, with residents reporting record numbers of the iconic birds.
Officer resident Kirsten Kelly was enjoying a trip to the park with her six-year-old daughter Millie when a large group of the noisy birds decided to join in on play time.
Although the birds have been seen frolicking around the area for a while now, Millie was a little unsure about all the unwanted attention at first.
“She had a bit of a scream but then thought it was fantastic and decided to chase them all to make them fly,” Ms Kelly said.
Ms Kelly said she had seen “massive” groups of the birds in and around the suburbs over the last few weeks.
“They tend to linger around Bridge Road but I’ve also seen them up and around Pakenham,” she said.
“There are heaps of them, I’d say hundreds.”
An Arcadia Estate resident, who wishes to remain anonymous, also recently bore witness to the spectacle.
“They’ve been migrating through the estate, they started up the front near Cardinia Road and they’ve slowly moved down through it,” she said.
The display also captivated the attention of her three cats, in particular one named BB, who spent the afternoon gazing out the window.
“She loves it, she’s so excited,” the resident laughed.
“There were hundreds of them all up the street. Cars were honking at them to get them to move off the road.
“They can be loud and destructive and they poo everywhere, so I can see why people don’t like them around, but I don’t consider them pests – I think that’s a ‘first world problem’.”
Notorious for being “mischievous”, cockatoos are classed as a protected species under the Wildlife Act 1975.
The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) said there had been no reports of increased cockatoo activity in or around the metropolitan area.
“Cockatoos are sociable and flock together to favourable food sources and are known to use regular flight paths and return to good feeding areas,” a spokesperson said.
It is illegal to harass or harm native birds and other wildlife without authorisation.