Bridge’s latest arrivals sharing bird’s eye view
IT IS a battle of the birds on the Grafton Bridge and the corellas appear to have reigned supreme over the pigeons.
Motorists have noticed the white birds perched on the bridge where their avian relatives normally reside and while a victory flag is yet to be erected on the railings, many have assumed the corellas have taken over.
"There are sometimes thousands of little corellas on that bridge and only in the last few years have we seen them in such large numbers," ecologist Dr Greg Clancy said.
The corellas are not new to the area, having made an appearance over the past 20 years, but Dr Clancy said they were not native to the Clarence Valley.
"Corellas are native to Australia, but not to this area but because we have cleared a lot of bushland and there are crops here, our habitat is suitable," he said.
Dr Clancy said the most likely explanation as to why the corellas had flocked to the Valley in such large numbers was the drought.
"They're usually found out west but I think they're fed up with the dry and are heading coastal because the same thing has happened at Armidale and Woodburn and up the coast," he said.
Despite their loud squawks and "power in numbers" mentality, pigeon fans can rest assured the corellas are not a major threat to their hang-out zone on top of the bridge.
"Pigeons are probably not competing directly with the corellas because they are unlikely to nest on the bridge," Dr Clancy said.
"Corellas like large hollows in trees, whereas pigeons nest on ledges, so I don't think the corellas will take over that spot."