Onslow residents asked to look out for any unusual bird sightings

Headshot of Bob Garnant
Bob GarnantCountryman
Residents living near sea ports are asked to keep an eye out for Indian house crows or other unusual birds.
Camera IconResidents living near sea ports are asked to keep an eye out for Indian house crows or other unusual birds. Credit: Michael MacKay/Michael MacKay

Onslow residents should be on the look out for any unusual birds following the removal of a house crow from the town.

Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development biosecurity officers removed the house crow from the foreshore area last week, believing it most likely arrived on an overseas ship at one of the port facilities.

The house crow is an omnivorous scavenger, eating almost anything including grains, fruits, nuts, nectar, insects, fish and small animals.

It is a major agricultural pest, having the potential to cause damage to cultivated grain and horticulture crops, spread disease and compete with native birds for food.

Department biosecurity officer Lara Martin said DPIRD had undertaken surveillance in Onslow supported by residents and no further birds had been detected.

“House crows are a declared pest bird that are not established in Western Australia, and are removed when found,” Ms Martin said.

“Community surveillance is a vital part of identifying and containing declared pests that have the potential to impact on our agricultural industries and the environment.

“The more people we have looking for pests, the quicker we can find them to limit their impact and spread.”

The assistance of the Onslow community has ensured the successful removal of the bird from the town.

The house crow is similar in body shape to Australian native crows, but it is much smaller and more slender, with black glossy plumage.

The nape, neck and lower breast are grey tones and not glossed.

The bill is black, the upper beak is strongly curved and it has black eyes, legs and feet.

Native crows have all-black plumage and white eyes.

Onslow residents and surrounding communities are encouraged to report sightings of house crows or other unusual birds to the department’s Pest and Diseases Information Service on 9368 3080 or email padis@dpird.wa.gov.au.

To find out more, view agric.wa.gov.au/birds/house-crow-animal-pest-alert.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails