Gold Coast motorists worried about nearby Ibis nesting site

Ibis are polarizing birds that people love or hate and now hundreds of them have set up camp on one of Australia’s busiest highways, causing travellers’ problems.

“You imagine a big bird flying past your window,” said local resident Heather.

The black-and-white bird hails from Australia and recently came into the spotlight as the prime candidate to become the mascot for the Brisbane Olympics.

Ibises are polarizing birds that people either love or hate and now hundreds of them have set up camp on one of Australia’s busiest highways, causing trouble for those who travel there (A Current Affair)

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But lately, the “bin chicken”, as it is more commonly known, has made some motorists cringe.

“They’re a bit of a pain on the freeway,” road user Anne said.

The M1 Pacific Motorway is one of Australia’s busiest roads and connects Brisbane to the Gold Coast and New South Wales.

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The highway carries more than 150,000 vehicles every day.

Gold Coast motorists worried about nearby Ibis nesting site
Department of Transport and Main Roads South Coast Regional Director Andrew Wheeler said he was working to eliminate the risk to motorists and ibises (A Current Affair)

It has also become the unlikely nesting ground for a colony of ibises, which have taken up residence on fences, in trees and on the ground and right next to Queensland’s famous Yatala Pies store.

Aside from the smell, the biggest problem is when the ibis flies or walks past oncoming traffic.

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“I see trucks going by and hitting them,” said Zach, a nearby worker.

“They have found themselves driven from their nesting area and they are not able to fly efficiently enough to cross the road or fly away,” said Phil Shaw, managing director of environmental consultancy Ecosure.

Gold Coast motorists worried about nearby Ibis nesting site
Aside from the smell, the biggest problem is when the ibis flies or walks past oncoming traffic (A Current Affair)

He has helped manage the Gold Coast ibis populations for 26 years.

“Part of the problem is that when a truck is hurtling down the highway it creates this big vortex of wind from behind and if a bird gets caught in it, it can actually be blown out of flight, knocked to the ground and then injured. himself, or even worse,” he said.

A local worker, Eddy, said he saw one that “just took off and almost hit the windshield”.

Department of Transport and Main Roads South Coast Regional Director Andrew Wheeler said he was working to eliminate the risk to motorists and ibises.

Gold Coast motorists worried about nearby Ibis nesting site
Gold Coast motorists worried about nearby Ibis nesting site (A Current Affair)

“We have about 700 meters of concrete barrier that we have installed in the south and north directions along the highway at this location.

“In addition to this barrier, we will install fences up to a height of about three and a half meters.”

Whether or not the fence works is yet to be seen and until the end of the breeding season these birds will continue to inhabit the side of the highway.

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