By Brendan Rees
For many they may seem like noisy birds wreaking havoc but for Lesley Bailey they are welcome any day.
“They absolutely demolish the trees along The Esplanade nature strip which is fine by me,” The Berwick Springs Estate resident in Narre Warren South says.
“The seedlings of those trees take root real easy and they are a pest.
“I pull out hundreds of the seedlings in my garden, front and rear. The Corellas eat a lot of them before they can reach my garden,” she explained.
“Those seedlings can grow very quickly and I have a fight on my hands every season.”
According to Rohan Clarke, senior lecturer at the School of Biological Sciences at Monash University, the Corella, a small species of Cockatoo, is not native to Melbourne and are flocking in great numbers.
“It turns out it was a disastrous management program where there was a permit to cull lots of corellas that were feeding in grain crops,” he said.
“Someone came up with the bright idea that maybe we could trap a whole lot and sell them.
“Turns out when you catch adult Corellas or indeed an adult cockatoo they make terrible pets because they already know what the good life is on the outside of the cage. They scream and bite and never settle down.”
Mr Clarke said Corellas like to roost in areas here there infrastructure and lighting where temperatures slightly warmer.
“There’s so many food opportunities in Melbourne now – onion weed in peoples lawns and all the grass parks, and big diversity of different plants,” he added.
But Mr Clarke warned corellas can cause damage. “They just about get into anything – if you’ve got cypress pines with fruits on it, they hammer all of those.”
Residents have overwhelmingly sided with the parrots, rallying behind calls to preserve their habitats.
“They’re beautiful and bring me happiness. I miss them when they aren’t around,” Michelle Lamoureux said.
“Love them. Leave them alone. We’ve done enough damage to their homes,” Ali Uding said.
“Getting heaps fly over lately and making lots of noise! It’s nice to see them, not wreaking havoc at all,” Emma Fidler added.