I do not need a calendar or a media reminder that spring has started in our northern Sydney suburb. Every year it is the same and it seems that it is getting worse.
Last Saturday I was watering a veggie patch soon to be planted. It is of course the time to get plants into the ground. Suddenly a shade passed at high speed. Looking up I saw the possible source, perching on a branch some 50 meter away. But it is still August and was cool, so I did not think about this any further.
Turning back to my watering, suddenly, without any warning, very stealthily, I got wacked on the side of my head, drawing blood, and a swirl of soft feathers swished by my cheeks and looking up I just saw a grayish tail with white marks disappearing between the trees.
Common Indian Myna bird. Of course it is their breeding season and they are extremely territorial and obnoxious. For the last three years a pair has been, somewhere nesting in between some trees on our property, which are not really accessible. Trees we can also not fell, due to the tree protection policy here.
For the next 6-8 weeks, they will, I assume the male of the two, will vigorously attack anyone and anything in the vicinity.
What seems to be new, is the fact that the attack was absolutely silent. Not even the triumph cry you could hear in the past after the strike was called.
These Indian Mynah birds are really a pest and, in many towns, and cities the local councils and governments are taking action, since these birds are a danger to our local birds. Unfortunately, our local council only has some well-meaning advise on their website, but no action or support forthcoming.
So the spring battle is back again. Wearing of hats with a wide rim or a hard hat, trying to hide in areas where the bird does not have a clear attack flight path, dashing to the car before being spotted or may trapping them. Since there is much to do on the property, this may be the last resort.
It somehow pains me to have to kill a bird, if I manage to catch it. It is a living creature after all, but it lives at the expense of others, maybe even more important creatures and I do not mean humans.
So it is war until November, when the young ones fly out and peace returns or……?
This year, things seem to have gone different. The hit on my head seemed to be the only attack so far. I have not seen much of the birds, except last Saturday. I was working on the side of the house and was looking up to the gutter. There, three heads were peering down at me. An expression like ‘got you’ and all three flew away. It looked much like the parent with their chick. It has been very quiet with only an occassional crackle of Myna birds. Maybe the bread early or the battle is still to come. Let’s see.