Collared Dove

Streptopelia decaocto

Appearance

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  • 10 1/2″ long.
  • Fawn—grey with a narrow black band at the back of the neck.

Lifecycle

  • 2 – 4 broods per year, with 2 eggs in each clutch.
  • 14 – 15 day incubation period.
  • Young birds spend 15 – 19 days in the nest.

Habits

  • Feeds on seeds, grains near roosting sites.
  • Nests in trees and canopies.

 

Gulls

Family – Laridae

Appearance

termites inspections

  • There are several species of gull and only a small number are recognised as being pest birds — Greater black–backed gull, the Lesser black–backed gull and the Herring gull.
  • Identification of gulls can be difficult due to seasonal variations in their plumage.

Lifecycle

  • 1 brood per year, with 3 eggs in each clutch.
  • 25 day incubation period.
  • Young birds spend 35 – 42 days in the nest.

Habits

  • Feed away from their roosting sites; omnivorous.
  • Nests on cliffs and buildings.

House Sparrow

Passer domesticus

Appearance

pest inspection

 

  • They are less than 6″ long. Male House Sparrows can be identified by the grey crown on their heads, and black throat ‘bib’, whereas females and young are mostly plain brown.

Lifecycle

  • Sparrows live for four to seven years, with up to five breeding seasons.
  • The breeding season runs through Spring and Summer, and up to three broods of 4–6 eggs may be laid in this time.

Habits

  • The same nest will tend to be used every year, resulting in a build up of nest debris, and insects associated with their nests.
  • It is a pest to the food industry in particular because of the risk of contamination from their droppings and the damage done to packaged goods.

Feral Pigeon

Columba livia

Appearance

sydney termite inspections

  • 12 1/2″ long.
  • Blue—grey in colour (although other colours are common).

Lifecycle

  • 2 – 3 broods per year, with 2 eggs in each clutch.
  • 17 – 19 day incubation period.
  • Young birds spend 35 – 37 days in the nest.

Habits

  • Feeds on seeds, green feed, domestic scraps in and around cities, near roosting sites.
  • Nests on ledges.

Starlings

Sturnus vulgaris

Appearance

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  • They are 7 1/2″–9″ long, and can be recognised by their pointed wings and short tail when flying. At first sight they appear to be plain black, but the feathers catch the light and may appear iridescent green or purple.

Lifecycle

  • Starlings can rear up to two broods a year, in April and May. Each clutch usually consists of 4–6 eggs, the young staying in the nest for about 3 weeks.
  • Breeding can extend into June and July if conditions are favourable.

Habits

  • The concentration of droppings from a large roosting flock provides a good medium for pathogenic fungi, some of which can be harmful or even fatal to humans.
  • It is an agricultural pest of standing crops, but will also flock into cities in large number

Canadian Goose

Branta canadensis

Appearance

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  • 20 to 50 inches long.
  • Wingspan can be 50-68 inches.
  • Black head and neck, white cheeks and throat.
  • Brown back, upper wing and flanks.
  • Brownish-white breast and belly.
  • Short black tail.
  • Black legs with black webbed feet.
  • Newly hatched look like ducklings with yellow and gray feathers and a dark bill for first 9-10 weeks.

Lifecycle

  • Will breed fairly early in the year, with nesting usually happening around late Spring.
  • During the incubation period, adults lose their flight feathers, so they cannot fly until after their eggs hatch (25-28 days).
  • Females lay 4-8 eggs.
  • These geese are family-oriented and mate for life.
  • Their life span in the wild is 10-24 years.

Habits

  • Location – Low areas with lots of open water to provide them with safety. The Great Lakes has a particularly large population of Canada Geese. In urban areas they have become a common sighting in city parks.
  • Nesting – Typically on the ground on islands and shorelines. Generally a female will return to where her parents nested.
  • Feeding – Vegetation, grains, aquatic plants.
  • Migration – Migrate south when the ground begins to freeze in Fall. During Spring they migrate to their breeding grounds. Often seen flying in V-shaped formation whilst migrating.