This poor Pied Cormorant had to balance on this sign because of bird deterring spikes on the stormwater boom.  It seemed mean to me to have stuck on these spikes.

This poor Pied Cormorant had to balance on this sign because of bird deterring spikes on the stormwater boom. It seems mean to have installed spikes.  This is not an historic building with a pigeon problem. 

There is a floating litter boom near the airport on Mascot Council’s side of the Alexandra Canal that made me feel a mix of sadness & anger when I saw it.  The boom has a row of plastic spikes glued along its length, specifically to prevent waterbirds from perching on it.

While I was there a Pied Cormorant perched on the top of a metal sign.  It could not have been comfortable with the sign edge sharp against his feet.  He perched here at the only place he could, watching the water below.   Fish & eels tend to congregate in & near these booms.  The boom itself & the litter they collect offers shade for fish & eels, protection & often bits of food that has made its way through the stormwater drains.

I stood there looking at the poor Cormorant & the nasty spikes along the boom & thought that this was a mean-spirited decision by whoever organised the installation of this boom.  They probably chose to add spikes to prevent bird droppings as they are corrosive, but in reality, how much damage could bird droppings do?    I would have thought encouraging biodiversity by providing sites for perching was far more important.

Compare this spiky bird deterring stormwater boom to the floating boom & trap planned in early 2014 across the Cooks River at Hurlstone Park by Canterbury Council & Sydney Water.  This floating boom will collect litter in the river & will also offer safe perches for waterbirds.

No spikes on this boom.  Instead, it has been designed to allow waterbirds to do what is natural behaviour to them – to watch the river from the river.

This kind of boom is good for people, as it will allow us to be able to see the birds clearly & be able to anticipate where we can locate them along the river.

Think of the passive educational opportunities with more waterbirds utilizing stormwater booms.  When people see things they like, they tend to take care of them.   Most people like birds & I’ve yet to meet a child who doesn’t.

We are leaving the Alexandra Canal & Cooks River to those who are children now.  Children are fascinated by wildlife.  If they learn about the beauty of wildlife when young, this will carry through to adulthood creating an adult who cares about the environment.   Imagine if everything we did made improvements & as a result, more wildlife came to live in these waterways.  I think that is definitely something worthwhile working towards.

I found this quite sad & something working against local waterbirds.

I found this quite sad & something working against local waterbirds.  Whichever authority owns this stormwater boom should seriously consider whether these spikes matches their wildlife/biodiversity policy.

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