It’s got nothing to do with the Ukrainian situation. Nothing to do with Taiwan, China or submarines. No this is a crisis which threatens the very fabric of the Australian way of life. It is Western Australia’s corella problem. Huge flocks of corellas are causing havoc. They dig up lawns, dance around on TV aerials causing havoc with the reception, they make a noise early in the morning meaning the great Sunday lie in is disturbed. Locals are so incensed that they have taken to calling them flying cane toads and want to blast them out of the skies with shotguns. The Western Australian government sensing a potential vote winning platform for the next election has set up a new task force headed up by a former police commissioner to deal with the corella plague. This probably means they’ll spend a fortune on cars, helicopters, four wheel drives, a snazzy para military looking uniform, and lots of media releases. It will probably go massively over budget long before it gets round to tackling the feathered little blighters.
It’s not the fault of the corellas. They’re just doing what they have to do to survive. Originally found in great numbers further inland, but climate change and lessening rainfall means they are moving to more populous areas where people have provided an environment that they thrive in. We get them here in York because there is water in the Avon River and there is plenty to eat in the form of grain spilt while being transported to the grain bins. People water their gardens which means there are succulent roots to be dug up and there are a lot of tall eucalypts for roosting.
Having said all that I actually like the flocks of corellas. To me the sound of summer isn’t the thwack of a leather ball on a willow bat, it’s not the sound of surf breaking on a beach. It is the sound of the corellas. When me moved to Tasmania we really missed it.
Just as a final note – the last time a war was declared against an avian foe was in 1932 with the “Great Emu War”. The Royal Australian Artillery was sent into bat against the wily emus armed with machine guns. It wasn’t pretty. After a month and only 50 emus killed the army withdrew conceding that the emus guerrilla tactics and high speed manoeuvrability meant that it wasn’t a fair fight.
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