I live near Maitland in the Hunter Valley
I have noticed over the last two or three years that the most predominant bird species in the area is now the introduced Indian Myna. I have seen them in flocks of thirty or forty.
There is a gang of about a dozen that have taken control of my yard, the only birds they haven't scared off is the yard boss, the Red Wattlebird, a pair of Peewees and a pair of feral Spotted Doves. Even the sparrows have moved on.
They have taken over my birdbath, and when any other species tries to take a bath, they hassle them, the only ones to stand up to them being the Peewees. They even harass my Staffy, although she is one up, because one of them didn't realise she can jump about five feet in the air.
I've planted Callistemons, Grevillias, Acacia, Red flowering Gum and other shrubs to attract birds, and I guess I selfishly don't want my yard to become a haven for a feral minority.
My dilemma? I believe all creatures have a right to exist, and the Myna's didn't ask to be here, however I also believe that introduced predators, and the Myna is a predator, should not be given free rein. The original inhabitants also have a right to a peaceful existence, and since the Myna arrived in the 1960's they have proliferated at a frightening rate.
So, what to do? Sending them all back to India is the most humanitarian solution, but that's not going to happen any time soon. There are some areas participating in a trapping and euthanasia program with some success. Is that cruel?
I personally am so distressed at what I witness in my yard on a daily basis, with these pests attacking every other bird that visits, that today when shopping I purchased some rat poison, poisoned seed, with the idea of putting some out when I know they are coming to visit, and being aware that I will have to watch and make sure no unintended snackers partake.
I don't feel comfortable with this, but I also feel I can't just sit back and do nothing, and let these foreign intruders take over at the expense of our native wild life.