Dozens of little corellas, like the one pictured, have been hit by cars on a road near Clifton. By Donna Sanders.
Dozens of little corellas, like the one pictured, have been hit by cars on a road near Clifton. By Donna Sanders.

Driver caution urged after 80 birds found dead on roadside

Close to 100 little corellas have been found dead on a Clifton road, prompting a warning from a local wildlife carer.

Toowoomba koala and wildlife rescue founder Judi Gray said she had been contacted about an incident on March 6, where a driver had found numerous birds dead by the roadside.

“I made contact with the only registered wildlife carer in Clifton to find out more and she immediately did some local research and attended the location on March 6, counting 80 dead birds on the roadsides - all fresh deaths from road trauma,” Ms Gray said.

“Recently mass flocks of little corellas have made Clifton their home, with thousands of birds coming to feed on local sunflower and sorghum crops and drink from local water drains.

“Grain transport trucks that cart the grain from nearby farms to storage facilities spill grain onto the roads and the birds have been coming to feed on this grain, along with the crops and grass seeds on the sides of the road.”

A number of little corellas lie dead by the roadside after being struck by vehicles on a road in Clifton.
A number of little corellas lie dead by the roadside after being struck by vehicles on a road in Clifton.

Ms Gray said the arrival of the birds had had an impact on residents in the region.

“The influx of birds are destroying (farmer’s) crops and therefore their income, this combined with a current mouse plague in the region has caused disaster for their income,” she said.

“The birds have also been witnessed chewing on electrical wires at local businesses and facilities causing extensive damage and some resulting in electrocution.

“Ergon Energy has attended various cases of power outages in Clifton caused by the birds.”

Ms Gray said although some birds were struck by accident, others had become the target of drivers.

“The birds are not moving off the road when cars approach and while some have been hit by accident, it has been reported that many locals have been witnessing vehicles speed up to hit the birds on purpose,” she said.

Crazy Corella takes a spin on Gympie whirlybird: Ladies and gentlemen, it's Gympie's funniest home videos! Send us yours at joshua.preston@gympietimes.com
Crazy Corella takes a spin on Gympie whirlybird: Ladies and gentlemen, it's Gympie's funniest home videos! Send us yours at joshua.preston@gympietimes.com

“We have now contacted the epartment of environment and science and made a full report of the situation.

“They will follow up with reports of the birds being killed on purpose and fines could be issued to offenders.”

She has now urged drivers to proceed with caution in these areas.

“I have contacted the Toowoomba Regional Council and placed a request for hazard signage on roads approaching the two main areas where the corellas are being hit,” she said.

“We hope that signage will give unsuspecting drivers the opportunity to take extra care while driving in that area as they would not be expecting the birds up ahead.

“Should you come across an injured little corella or native bird from road trauma or possible ratbait in the Clifton Region, we ask that you do what you can to help it.

“Injured or sick birds can be picked up by covering them with a thick towel, jacket or even using a picnic rug or seat covers from your car if you don’t have a towel.

“Then you should contact help - for bird rescues please message us through the Wildlife Carers Toowoomba Region Facebook Page or call our rescue line on 0491 688 503 to be put in touch with a local wildlife carer at Clifton.”

Originally published as Driver caution urged after 80 birds found dead on roadside