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Wood-Eating Birds Cause 'Nightmare' in Australia Town

March 24, 1985|From Reuters

SYDNEY, Australia — Flocks of cockatoos have begun eating houses in the Sydney suburb of Woronora, making them virtually uninhabitable. Flying in flocks of 30 or 40, the sulfur-crested cockatoos eat wooden roof tiles, railings, siding--in fact much of a house, residents say.

"You hear this absolutely horrible squawking noise and . . . it's just like the (Alfred Hitchcock) movie 'The Birds.' It's like a nightmare coming," one told a television interviewer.

Woronora residents say they have applied repellent gel to their homes and built imitation crows in futile attempts to frighten off the cockatoos. Some have even used air guns but that is illegal; the birds are a protected species. And insurance companies will not pay for damage. They say cockatoo attacks are an act of God.

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