Birds & Associated Problems

The Pigeon

The Pigeon, or Rock Pigeon, is found just about all over the world. They are kept by pigeon fanciers for show, racing and as pets. However, many of the pigeons seen around Perth are feral birds. Along with the Sea Gull and Crow, they are the primary scavengers of Perth. They congregate in all areas where food can be found. Place such as rubbish tips, recreational parks, roadside, industrial sites and inner city are popular attractions.

Pigeons are prolific breeders, and eggs are produced all year round but mainly in summer. They have a nest made of loose twig and sticks on a flat ledge. The breeding pair will usually produce 2 white eggs.

The Sea Gull

The Sea Gull is a common site around Perth’s shorelines, beaches, cliffs and waterways. It is effectively an ocean scavenger, but has changed its behaviour because of human development. They congregate in large flocks to feed on rubbish, decaying matter and are attracted to flood lights over water or lawn areas, in search of insects. The Sea Gull will travel long distances to find food, following watercourses inland or fishing boats out to sea.

The Sea Gull breeds from spring to autumn and has nests that a made up of cups of vegetation on the ground or in a shrub. The eggs are blotched and they usually produce 2-4 per breeding pair.

The Swallow

The Swallow is a common resident of open air spaces around Perth, whether it be over bushland, roads or open grassed areas. It has benefited from the urban spread, using buildings and fixtures as suitable nesting sites. It is very vocal, calling constantly when in flight or perching, especially when arriving at a nest. It gets its name from the habit of building nests above doorways or on porches. The Swallow may be partially migratory with populations decreasing in summer, and increasing again in autumn. Their flocks can become quite large, with up to 100 birds or more, and will perch along powerlines or fences to regroup. They can be found all over Perth in all habitat types.

They breed between August and December and have a nest in a half-bowl of vegetation fused together with mud, and connected to flat vertical surface. The produce 4-6 eggs that are white and speckled.

The Dove

The Dove is a familiar resident to the Perth area but is not native to Perth as it was introduced in 1896. This bird breeds all year round, but many broods fail as the nests are usually on a precarious branch and the nests are feebly made, as well as the chicks being a favourite food of domestic cats. The adults are very nervous and take to flight at sight of a human or sound of a loud noise; however they seem not to notice cars when feeding on the road and this frequently proves to be fatal. Doves eat various grains, seeds, small grass shoots and grit from the roadsides. They will frequently visit gardens where seed is left out and can gather in large flocks of up to thirty birds. They thrive in densely populated areas, and are usually seen perching on rooftops, TV antennae, telephone wires and roadsides.

The Magpie

The Magpie is a well-known icon of Australia. The males have a full white back and the females having a speckled back. Magpies live in close family groups and are extremely territorial. The groups have a strict hierarchy structure headed by the dominant male and female. Females build nests high, usually in the outer part of a tree. Although there are numerous accounts of Magpies attacking humans, they will usually keep their distance unless provoked or bad past experiences make them aggressive, in fact, Magpies will become quite tame if trust can be established. Magpies have a varied diet, including insects, larvae, beetles, seed and will occasionally take food from picnics or BBQ’s.