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Comments (30) Bird Pest Control

Currawong Control (Strepera graculina)

Currawongs are a strong curious bird that will eat almost anything. They nest in thick forest and usually lay 3 eggs in spring or summer. The Pied Currawong can form large flocks in late summer and winter and may have a large communal roost.

There are 3 species of currawong in Australia:

  1. Pied Currawong (Strepera graculina) found down the eastern seaboard to Victoria
  2. Black Currawong (Strepera fuliginosa) found only in Tasmania
  3. Grey Currawong (Strepera versicolor) Grey Currawong found mainly in the southern half of Australia and Tasmania

The Grey Currawong is rarely seen in large numbers.

All species are omnivorous and they will raid other bird’s nests for eggs or young at every opportunity. They are fond of grapes and fruit and thus are a pest to farmers in some areas, usually where there is timber or forest nearby.

Currawongs seem to be far less sensitive than some other pest bird species, for example the crow. This “dull witted” attitude makes the currawong quite hard to deter at times, especially in late summer when they’re very hungry due to a shortage of natural foods. Possibly currawongs do a service to vignerons and orchardists by eating nestling silver-eyes in the spring, however few farmers are very understanding when their crop is being destroyed later in the season.

Currawong reaction to Bird Gard’s sounds can differ from area to area. Whilst the AVA is effective in one district, in another we have to use the Electronic Scarecrow (ESC) and Bird and Bat Control (BBC) combined to move them. Possibly the overlapping of different species may have something to do with this. The Super Pro #2 with a currawong distress call is also effective in some areas. The multiple-sound Bird X-8 has given excellent results and the sheer power of the Pro Amp is the most effective of all.

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30 Responses to Currawong Control (Strepera graculina)

  1. Larissa says:

    I have one really loud and annoying Currawong that lives around my house in the Tweed Heads area. It only seems to be one Currawong calling out for hours on end, in the day and the middle of the night. I was just wondering why the bird calls out so loud and if there can be anything done to get rid of this pest of a bird.

    Thanks,
    Larissa

    • Bird Gard says:

      Hello Larissa

      I wonder if it isn’t a Currawong you have, but a Koel bird. They do look like a Currawong from a distance and what you describe is exactly what they do.

      If the bird is in a tree on your property we might be able to help you, best to give us a call to discuss.

    • Bird Gard says:

      Hello David, we are very glad you found this article informative.

    • Dave says:

      Found this comment while searching for info on Pied Currawongs. I seem to have the exact same problem as you Larissa, maybe the gold coast/tweed is a hotspot for these annoying birds. 5:00am on the dot every morning it wakes me up with it’s loud repetitive call. Then on and off all day and into the arvo it calls out. You’re a bird, you have wings ffs, just fly over to whoever you’re calling to and say it quietly like other birds. I think the only bird more annoying than the Pied Currawong is the Koel bird mentioned by Bird Gard.

      • Hi Dave

        We do get to hear a lot of stories about 5.00am wake up calls!

        Currawongs are on that list of birds, but it is the Koel, or Storm Bird as it is also known as, that is voted by the public as the #1 most annoying bird.

    • Andrew says:

      I live in Canberra and a Currawong, yes a Currawong, has been calling from 3 am since September. It us horrible.

  2. Riana Kok says:

    We live in Yarralumla, Canberra not far from Weston Park at Lake Burleigh Griffen. We have been here for just over a year now. Whilst we have had an array of King Parrots, Rosellas and Fairy Wrens since we arrived last year in late summer and early autumn, the Currawongs arrived in summer and have taken over. They even seem to be “attacking” our house, strange as it may sound., too. Sometimes some of them will dive against or keep pecking against the windows and other times fly around and around and around the house. It is very annoying, to say the least. There is a lot of open space and forest around and close to our house and also towards the old Canberra Brick Works, which is close by too. Is there a way to deter them? I miss the wonderful bird life we have found when we arrived which now seem to be gone altogether.

    • Bird Gard says:

      Hi

      Currawongs are stubborn birds and can be difficult to repel.

      What normally works best on them is our electronic harassment devices but they do emit loud annoying sounds which could be a problem for yourself, any neighbours and the birds you would like to return.

      From the behaviour you have described it sounds like you have a small family group that have decided your place is their nesting ground. As long as they like your place they will likely remain.

      There are two products that you should be able to use in your situation, but we couldn’t guarantee that just one of these products would be enough to work in your situation

      See the Eagle Kite https://www.birdgard.com.au/pest-control/osprey-kite-bird-repeller

      And the Crow repeller https://www.birdgard.com.au/pest-control/osprey-kite-bird-repeller

      The Crow repeller emits just birds sounds including an actual Currawong call. You wouldn’t play it very often, but it might be just enough to convince the Currawongs to finds a new nesting area.

  3. Margaret Fox says:

    Early in morning in big gum tree ..saw many little possums running up n down trying to escape many currawongs ..diving n snapping at them.

  4. Melissa Williams says:

    Hi All,
    I have the nicest currawongs in my area, they are very tame, seem to enjoy living near humans and you never see them attacking anything. However, around early spring for the last two years there next has been invaded. These bigger birds come in a group, make the nost horrible noise and literally spend all their time trying to take over the currawongs habitat and nest, I think they won the battle last year as the currawongs did not hany any young. Does anyone know what these birds might be and how we can help protect the currawongs?

    • Hi Melissa

      Google “channel-billed cuckoo (Scythrops novaehollandiae)” – does this look like the bird ?

      They are known to hassle Currawongs, and are very noisy. They will even lay their eggs in a Currawong nest and then let the Currawong raise their young for them.

      Other than directly hassling the invading birds it will be difficult to protect the Currawongs. We haven’t tried to do this ourselves

      Any sort of product that might repel a channel-billed cuckoo would likely repel the Currawong as well.

      Regards,
      Darren Stutchbury
      General Manager

  5. Melissa Williams says:

    Hi All,
    We have a family of Currawongs behind my house, they are great birds but each Spring they get bullied by these bigger birds that make this incredibly horrible noise, they seem interested in taking over the nest the currawongs build, would you have any idea what kind of birds they might be?

  6. Brooke says:

    PLEASE HELP!!! We have a pied currawong attacking and eating our budgies… in the past week it has killed 6 of our breeders… what can we do!?

    • Hi Brooke

      Currawongs can be difficult birds to repel, and more so around the home because the proximity of people does limit the type of products you can use.

      On our website have a look at the Crow Repeller https://www.birdgard.com.au/pest-control/crow-repeller and the Eagle Kite https://www.birdgard.com.au/pest-control/osprey-kite-bird-repeller

      Regards,
      Darren Stutchbury
      General Manager

    • Lily says:

      Hi Brooke, that’s really scary. Was it able to attack and kill your budgies through the bars of the cage? How did it get near them?

      I have a few Currawongs that hang around and sit on my budgies’ cage and I’m concerned. I chase them but they keep coming back. One of my budgies doesn’t seem to register it as dangerous and wants to see what they are. Is he in danger?

      Thanks
      Lily

      • Hi Lilly

        Currawongs eat just about anything including little birds.
        Some people say they will also protect the nest of another bird type from other predator birds just so they can eat the chicks when hatched.

        If the Currawongs can get their beak or talons past the budgies cage, then yes he might be in danger.
        To solve that problem the first thing that came to mind was to put the budgie cage inside a larger cage if that’s practical.

        Or use a possum deterrent: the device has a motion sensor that will emit a sudden loud sound when activated.
        You could arrange it so the budgie didn’t set it off but a Currawong sitting on the cage would, see https://www.birdgard.com.au/pest-control/possum-deterrent

        Regards,
        Darren Stutchbury
        General Manager

  7. judy mcclenahan says:

    Why do people insist on feeding currawongs? my neighbor feeds these predator birds every afternoon , dozens of them arrive and defacate on patio and furniture( mine) . We used to have a garden full of little birds, fairy wrens, finches, willy wagtails, honeyeaters but never see one now. Why don’t people check wildlife web sites before starting this practice and realize what harm they’re doing by upsetting the natural balance

    • Hello Judy

      At Bird Gard we hear such stories on a regular basis, it seems like there is one of these people in every suburb.

      Some people just enjoy that sort of interaction with nature, some people might be lonely and make the birds their friends, and sometimes a degree of mental illness is involved.

      However one common thread appears to be the reluctance to consider the consequences of their actions.

      Local councils appear reluctant or powerless to intervene, so my best bet is to contact government wildlife authorities for assistance.

      On our Eagle Kite page you will read a similar story. A fella called Keith Gordon from QLD explains his situation.

      “I was experiencing an awful situation with a neighbour regularly feeding about 25 ibis and a similar number of scrub turkeys. I purchased an Eagle Kite with the telescopic pole.

      “The first day I deployed the eagle, the assembled ibis, scrub turkeys and other assorted birds immediately took flight! I cannot express in words my utter joy at having a solution to this problem. Whereas I might have 20 or so scrub turkeys perched in a tree overhanging my fence, now there are none and also the dozens of ibis sitting on my fence and on my roof fouling my rain water tank and solar cells are now gone too.

      “I decided to purchase a second eagle for my rural property to protect my fruit trees. Once again, the results are just amazing.

      “I also happen to like wildlife and the beauty of the eagles is that there is no harm caused to any birds. The eagle’s job is to disperse the birds back to where they belong – their natural habitat – and they do this beautifully!”

      Regards,
      Bird Gard

  8. jacynta says:

    For the last three weeks I have been woken up at 4 am sometimes earlier every morning as these stinking birds have nested right next to my bedroom window and their babies (two of) cry/scream/screech whatever you want to call it for food. Only they don’t stop, they cry all day and into the night. They surround my house throughout the day and the constant “erghhhh ergghhhhhh ergghhhhhh” is driving me nuts, I’m slowly going insane. I need my sleep and my sanity back. Im in tallebudgera GC HELP.

  9. dot middleton says:

    Hi there, we have been feeding up to 40 rainbow lorikeets for months with their favorite foods however we now get invaded by currawongs who barge in and eat everything. If i bought an ornament eagle and put it on the lawn wud this deter the currawongs?

  10. Mark says:

    I have a problem with them dumping the seed from my bird feeder but they don’t eat the seed. Why is this?

    • Currawongs will eat just about anything. They are known to feed from bird feeders, but not really a big seed eater per se. Would they be removing the husk and rejecting the rest?

  11. Aaron Watts says:

    We live in Toowoomba Queensland and we have multiple currawongs attacking our budgie’s though the cages and killing them, can’t use a gun to scare them because we are in town and bird noises would probably scare the budgie’s too, any suggestions

    • Yes that’s a problem. Currawongs are a difficult bird to repel, and the electronic devices that do discourage them make loud sounds that are unsuitable around the home. There is only one possible exception and that’s the crow repeller on our website. This device still does make a loud sound but brief and not often, it emits a Currawong call.

  12. Milton Speer says:

    Here in Surry Hills (inner city) Sydney, there’s one currawong all by itself calling all times of day and night. I don’t know how it has time to feed itself. It flies around within its environment of a few hundred square metres. It’s been like that for at least the last month.

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