A homeowner in Melbourne is facing an expensive repair bill thanks to a bunch of cockatoos tearing up wood attached to his home and deck. As a Victorian property owner who is about to order the timber needed to build a new deck, it is important you carefully consider ways you can prevent cockatoos from attacking your deck once it is complete. Cockatoos like to keep their beaks trimmed and sharpened by rubbing against and gnawing on wood, so how do you make sure your next project doesn't become a cockatoo toy?
Remove The Food
While you may love having the natural birds come flocking each morning to feed in your backyard, if you place their food too close to your new deck, then the timber deck is going to become the next thing to snack on once the birdseed runs out. Likewise, placing a birdbath on your wood for the little birds to bathe in is going to bring the cockatoos closer when they want to have a drink.
To keep the cockatoos off your deck, you need to put the bird food and water source somewhere in the garden away from your home. The further back you push it the better. However, bear in mind that by laying out bird food, you are encouraging cockatoos into the area who will feed on all wood, not just yours. If you don't feed them at all, they will head back into the native trees and sharpen their beaks there instead.
Provide Wood For Their Beaks
If you wish to continue feeding the local cockatoos, or if you know your neighbour is doing so, make a beak sharpening post for the birds out of leftover cuts from your timber supplies. Because you don't want to make the birds sick from the chemicals that are used to treat the timber against attack from rot and termites, seal or paint the timber pieces you want to use before you put your bird chew toy together. Check with your paint supplier that you are buying a non-toxic, bird-friendly paint before you apply it.
No particular design will appeal to the cockatoo, but make it big and noticeable before you place it in a spot well away from your new deck. Not only will this (hopefully) draw their attention away from your new deck, but it is also an environmentally-friendly way to use up leftover timber offcuts.
Scare Tactics To Keep Them Off The Deck
You should also consider ways to scare the cockatoos off your wood deck so they don't have a chance to even think about doing any damage to your new outdoor pride and joy. One way you can do this is by purchasing an alarm that is activated by a motion sensor. When it detects birds on your deck, the sirens make a loud noise to scare the cockatoos away. You may find this a little annoying for a couple of days, but it won't take long for the birds to catch on and stay in the trees well away from the sound. Helpful tip: make sure you buy one you can switch off at night so you don't get in the bad books of your neighbours.
Another motion-activated deterrent is a water sprinkler system that is designed to squirt at the birds when the detector senses they are near. The unexpected spray of water will also send the cockatoos packing back to the trees. Both of these deterrent systems can be purchased online or through your local pet store.
Lastly, if you do live in an area that experiences frequent cockatoo visits, consider buying a few extra timber deck boards and rails to store away after the deck completion. By doing so, you have the timber supplies you will need on hand to do repair jobs if the cheeky cockatoos temporarily get the best of you.