CRUELTY FEARS: Bird family ‘wiped out’
STANTHORPE wildlife lovers are concerned someone is targeting harmless animals after nine apostlebirds were found dead.
The birds have visited the Glen Aplin area for the past 10 years, lining the fences of properties around the region.
Karol Stica was shocked to discover the birds' bodies scattered around her backyard.
"The whole family has been wiped out," she said.
"They're a fairly common type of bird because they come in like little families.
"You wouldn't expect the whole nine of them to be dead, and not within the same area."
A self-proclaimed bird lover, Ms Stica said she had grown fond of the "happy family" birds, occasionally putting out seed for them.
She said she had never seen "anything this weird" before, finding no bullet holes, no blood and no bruising on the birds.
"It can't be a natural thing; I still think it's the hand of man," she said.
"A lot of people don't like them because they scratch around in gardens and move mulch around.
"I can't even begin to understand why someone would do this."
Ms Stica said she wanted people to be aware of the possibility there were sinister actions involved.
"I just wanted to put it out there so that people know that there are lowlifes out there that would do this to a whole family of harmless little birds," she said.
"If someone has thought they're annoying or noisy, imagine if you were the neighbour that had a dog that made too much noise.
"It's not just the potential for pets (to get poisoned) but little children who play in yards too."
While some suggested the cooler mornings could be to blame, Ms Stica assured commenters the birds had likely endured worse.
Granite Belt Wildlife Carer president Betty Balch said it wasn't the first time a large group of birds had been found dead, without a visible cause, in the region.
"A couple of years ago, there were dozens of birds found dead up at the golf course," she said.
"No one would own up to it and of course they wouldn't because it comes with quite a hefty fine.
Mrs Balch said carers typically can nurse the birds back to health if found in cooler weather.
"But you don't get nine (die) in one go, not from the cold and not all in one place," she said.