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How a bizarre plan to stop birds singing on a quiet street dramatically backfired: ‘It was ridiculous’


The sound of chirping birds outside an upmarket retirement village sparked a wave of complaints and a bizarre plan to shut them up.

Residents at Australian Unity’s Peninsula Grange, in Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula, were furious about the racket being caused by a flock of Indian Myna birds nesting in 23 trees.

The property’s operators in December covered the tall trees with giant plastic wrapping in a bid to keep the birds away and stop the noise.

While the netting was somewhat effective, residents then complained that the ‘ugly’ black webbing ruined the appearance of the picturesque street and blocked the sun, causing foliage to die.

However, the biggest issue was that small native birds had become trapped inside the netting. 

The property's operators in December covered the tall trees with giant plastic wrapping (pictuerd) in a bid to keep the birds away and stop the noise

The property’s operators in December covered the tall trees with giant plastic wrapping (pictuerd) in a bid to keep the birds away and stop the noise 

Music to your ears or deafening pain? The Indian Myna birds' singing was impacting some residents 'health and wellbeing'

Music to your ears or deafening pain? The Indian Myna birds’ singing was impacting some residents ‘health and wellbeing’

One 72-year-old resident told Daily Mail Australia the netting has been ‘distressing’.

‘The whole thing is so ridiculous. Who would put nets over trees in summer?’ the resident said.

‘And with black netting? We’ve had no rain, birds have been trapped, there was no contingency plan. It was a stupid decision.’ 

Katrina Larsen, a visitor to the property, said she was horrified when she saw the new-look trees for the first time.

‘Trees will attract birds and the birds still found a way in, despite the nets done up with what looked like heavy-duty staples,’ she said.

‘The first time I visited after the nets went up, I saw a trapped bird in the very first tree I saw.’ 

The black nets were put over the trees in December and not taken down until late February. The hot months caused foliage to die and then gather at the bottom of the nets

The black nets were put over the trees in December and not taken down until late February. The hot months caused foliage to die and then gather at the bottom of the nets

Australian Unity in a statement consulted with residents, bird control experts and wildlife management and control authorities, with the netting installed by professionals which followed Victorian regulations. 

The netting was placed as part of a trial period, which ended late February and has since been removed.

NSW Department of Planning and Environment says on it’s website that Indian Mynas live in large noisy groups and are attracted to tidy lawns and manicured hedges.

Having a more ‘bush-like’ garden will keep them away. 

The 'bizarre' solution of covering 23 trees in plastic wrap to keep birds away was not just unsightly, but dangerous to native birds who became trapped

The ‘bizarre’ solution of covering 23 trees in plastic wrap to keep birds away was not just unsightly, but dangerous to native birds who became trapped



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