Birds Black Out Australian Town, Pink Cockatoo Flock Pretty Way To Lose Power

Elaine Radford - Author

Sep. 30 2013, Updated 3:53 a.m. ET

A huge flock of pink birds in an Australian town has created havoc and caused power blackouts in Boulia, Queensland. Thousands of the pink and gray cockatoos known as Galahs to Australians and Rose-Breasted Cockatoos to Americans have poured into the town over the past 10 weeks.

According to a Seven News report, Boulia mayor Rick Britton — whose family has lived in the Australian town for five generations — stated that the bird invasion of 4,000 pink parrots is unprecedented. It’s likely that the birds have been attracted to the town as a sort of an oasis in the middle of a severe and ongoing drought.

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Britton told an ABC reporter: “[T]he biggest fact is the Galahs…impacted…our township like never before…[b]ecause they all like to perch on our electrical overhead wires overnight…[I]f they take a flight during the night or when they take off early morning, they’ve been [causing] the wires to hit together and we’ve been having blackouts.”

Ouch. But what a way to go. Instead of a blackout, maybe we can call the power outages a pinkout.

But the estimated 4,000 Rose-Breasted Cockatoos are causing some financial problems along with the repeated power outages. Britton noted that the power flickers can affect the compressors in refrigerators and air-conditioners.

So far, the Australian town hasn’t been able to chase the birds away by shooting off what they called a scare gun. Britton said that the Galahs might not leave the Australian town until the rainy season starts in November.

However, the mayor tried to look on the positive side of the Galah invasion when he was interviewed by the BBC, which gave the number of birds in the flock as 2,000.

It could be a great opportunity for birders, photographers, and other tourists to enjoy up-close views of the Rose-Breasted Cockatoos around town. “For someone who wants to see a large flock of birds, there wouldn’t be a better place than Boulia to see them,” Britton pointed out.


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