Bayside could become a refuge for threatened bird life in metropolitan Sydney.
This follows a move by the council to investigate the most appropriate locations for bird nesting boxes to be placed in trees, local parks and open spaces.
It would be done to encourage native birds that are losing their local habitat to stay in Sydney instead of fleeing to the country to raise their families.
Bayside Councillor Ann Fardell has suggested the council look at providing bird nesting boxes in the local government area.
Councillor Fardell, who is a member of the bird-watching group the Wolli Creek Birdos, said bird nesting boxes are needed to provide an alternative to tree hollows for hollow nesting birds and also mammals and reptiles.
"17 per cent of native birds, 42 per cent of native animals and 28 per cent of native reptiles use tree hollows in Australia," Cr Fardell said.
"Tree hollows are always very old. Small hollows take 50-plus years to form and large hollows take 100-plus years to form, usually 150 years to form. But old trees are being mown down. Tree hollows are so rare in urban areas they've become prime real estate. Australian birds are the most territorial in the world, so if a bird moves into another's territory the resident bird will mount a vigorous defence. There can only be one winner.
"Birds can't move to the country either, as millions of old hollow-bearing trees were destroyed in the devastating bushfires of 2019-2020, making real estate there even more sought-after.
"In the Sydney urban area we have kookaburras, seven species of kingfishers, crimson rosellas, eastern rosellas, musk lorikeets, red-rumped parrots, cockatoos, galahs, tree martins, dollarbirds, Australian wood ducks and owls - many birds that usually nest but will alternatively find a tree hollow if they can't find a suitable nesting tree."
In a Notice of Motion submitted to the council, Cr Fardell asked that Bayside Council investigates the most appropriate locations for bird nesting boxes to be placed in trees in local parks and open spaces, and ways of funding the boxes.
She asked that the council seeks competitive costing estimates for their construction and installation, and that council undertake some community education about bird nesting boxes in backyards.
"My hope is that Bayside will become a leader in the area of conserving and encouraging bird life because so many of our birds are threatened. Even kookaburras are on the way out in urban areas. One of the reasons is they don't have tree hollows to have their families," Cr Fardell said. "If you are not into birds like I am, you probably wouldn't realise how bad things are. They really need help."
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