Dozens of native corella birds have died overnight after they fell from the sky in an Adelaide outer suburb.
Bleeding from their eyes and beaks, more than 50 gravely ill birds began falling from the sky at a soccer oval in One Tree Hill, a suburb on the outskirts of Adelaide, about 2.30pm yesterday.
Volunteers from Casper’s Bird Rescue, founded by Sarah King, desperately tried to help the long-billed corellas, running to the oval and calling out for extra help on Facebook.
Ms King originally received a tip the birds had been shot, but vets working on the birds suspect they may have been poisoned.
Children at a nearby school who were attending vacation care saw a number of the sick and dying birds bleeding from their eyes and beaks, according to Yahoo.
According to Ms King, 11 volunteers arrived on the site yesterday at 2.30pm and stayed until 11pm collecting the 58 injured birds that were suffering and in great pain.
The volunteers took the birds to two different vets. Of the birds collected, 57 have now died, with “one possible survivor”, Ms Hill told news.com.au.
A conclusive necropsy has not yet been performed to detect poisons, news.com.au understands.
Ms King said she would be returning to the area with other volunteers tonight to check for more birds.
Another volunteer in the local corella welfare Facebook group said the birds were suffering and vets were forced to euthanise most of the ailing flock.
“All (birds) at Para Hills have passed as far as I am aware,” one woman wrote. “The kindest thing to do for the ones we collected was to euthanise, otherwise it’s a slow painful death.”
In the City of Playford, corella birds are considered “unmanageable” by the Alexandria Council, who recently proposed a new plan to kill the birds by poisoning, according to the ABC.
The council wrote to SA Environment Minister David Speirs, saying nonlethal methods to control the birds had failed, and the council should be allowed to use poisonous gas.
Long-billed corellas are a native Australian bird and a type of cockatoo. They are a light pink bird with a blue marking around their eyes. They are known to dig on ovals for roots and other food.
They are considered a pest in the agricultural industry, as they can tear up crops and destroy powerlines.