Swooping bird remains at large after relocation attempt

WAITING GAME: Dodie Allen from Silkstone feels like a prisoner in her own home due to an aggressive butcher bird.
WAITING GAME: Dodie Allen from Silkstone feels like a prisoner in her own home due to an aggressive butcher bird. Kate Czerny

THE case of the swooping bird in Silkstone continued yesterday when professionals were unable to capture a butcher bird that had been dive-bombing pensioner Dodie Allen.

The Lions Club of Ipswich had arranged for the bird to be relocated for Mrs Allen, who feared leaving her unit due to the swooping.

A member of the Queensland Fauna Consultancy's snake advice and relocation team tried for more than an hour to capture the elusive bird.

The issue of problem wildlife has stirred debate among Ipswich residents as to whether swooping birds should be relocated.

Olive Dowie, who lives in the same unit complex as Mrs Allen, said although she and other residents had also been attacked, she did not want the bird to be relocated.

"We love the butcher birds, why remove it?" she said.

"It's attacking locals but we put hats on.

"I think it's wrong for it to be taken out of its home.

"I love the bird life here and I'd hate to see them go, they're lovely things when they don't have babies."

Snake advice and relocation manager Bryan Robinson said the best option would be to wait until the breeding season had ended.

"The bird should cease to swoop very shortly, potentially in one, maybe two weeks," he said.

"Our consultant arrived and was clear the walker was a key factor.

"You can't have an old lady without her walker and I'm not about to suggest a 70-year-old puts herself at risk and attempts to feed the bird.

"It's up to her and the Lions Club. The bird needs preconditioning but if she can wait it out for the next week or two she will be fine."

He said in his experience butcher birds were likely to swoop.

"Butcher birds are by far and away the most dangerous suburban bird," he said.

"The hook on the end of their beak won't just scratch you, it'll take a chunk out.

"I'm all about the welfare of the bird but they can cause injury, potential blindness and panic.

"It's not just about one side of the story, you've got to weigh up both sides."

Topics:  swooping season

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