News

Swooping butcher bird targets pensioner with walking frame

TERRIFIED: Dodie Allen, from Silkstone, feels like a prisoner in her own home since a butcher bird started targeting her and swooping her.
TERRIFIED: Dodie Allen, from Silkstone, feels like a prisoner in her own home since a butcher bird started targeting her and swooping her. Kate Czerny

FOR the past month, pensioner Dodie Allen has been a prisoner in her small one-bedroom Silkstone unit.

She has been too afraid to venture outside knowing if she does she will immediately come under attack.

The villain in her life is an aggressive butcher bird that swoops and claws at her head.

Having to use a walker means she can't even lift her hands to try and fend off the dive-bombing bird she says targets her daily.

"I get sick in the stomach because I know it's coming after me," she said.

"You're like a prisoner, you feel like you can't go out anywhere."

Close to tears, Mrs Allen described the terror she felt due to the daily attacks.

"This happens every year but this year has been the worst ever," she said.

"Once it hit me so badly in the head I thought it was cracked open, I was terrified.

"I've tried wearing a hat, sunglasses and even taking an umbrella but it still gets me."

Mrs Allen lives in a public housing complex and said the bird left others alone while just targeting her.

Dodie Allen from Silkstone feels like a prisoner in her own home since a butcher bird started targetting her and swooping her everytime she leaves her house with her walker. Pic of the butcher bird waiting in its vantage point. Photo: Kate Czerny / The Queensland Times
Dodie Allen from Silkstone feels like a prisoner in her own home since a butcher bird started targetting her and swooping her everytime she leaves her house with her walker. Pic of the butcher bird waiting in its vantage point. Photo: Kate Czerny / The Queensland Times Kate Czerny

It is believed that Mrs Allen's walking frame is what attracts the aggressive butcher bird.

"I'm 70 and I've called the RSPCA, wildlife services and the council and they can't do anything that I can afford," she said.

"It's $120 to relocate it. When I get my pension I have my bills and what's left for the next fortnight is not much. I just can't come up with the money."

Snake advice and relocation expert Brian Robinson said bird attacks were more common this time of year.

"It's this time of year where it all accumulates as it's breeding season," he said.

"When you've got a butcher bird after you I can understand it would be very distressing."

The ecologist warned concerned locals not to take matters into their own hands.

"It's illegal, you need a State Government permit to trap birds," he said. "We need to ensure the welfare of the bird as well as removing the problem."

Mr Robinson said the costs of relocation were due to the distance required to move problem birds to a new home.

Mrs Allen said the attacks had been going on for a month and were getting worse as time went on.

"I need help to get rid of that bird, otherwise I just don't know what I'll do," she said.

 

Journalist Anna Hartley proves that the butcher bird is targetting Mrs Allen's walker. Photo: Kate Czerny / The Queensland Times
Journalist Anna Hartley proves that the butcher bird is targetting Mrs Allen's walker. Photo: Kate Czerny / The Queensland Times Kate Czerny

Walking frame triggers swooping attack

I DON'T use a walking frame and I am 49 years younger than Dodie Allen so you would think a dive-bombing butcher bird would not cause me too many concerns.

At least that's what I thought when I ventured out into Mrs Allen's backyard after hearing the pensioner's story of a crazy bird attacking her daily.

I wanted to put her theory that the bird just targeted her to the test.

When I walked out the butcher bird just sat motionless staring down at me from a tall palm tree in her back yard.

However, as soon as I brought out Mrs Allen's walking frame the bird sat up straight then zoomed down swooping multiple times, getting so close that I could feel its beak touch my head.

After running away, heart pumping I could understand the helplessness that she must feel every day. The experience truly was terrifying. Yes I know this bird stands just 15cm high, but it really was evil in its intent.

This bird needs to find a new life, far away from vulnerable pensioners like Mrs Allen.

 

 

 

 

ONLINE TODAY

That's not how you move a fridge! No, really

Young woman in Brisbane Ebola scare tests negative

A Place to Call Home has a new address on pay TV

Thieves steal Glen McGrath breast charity cash 

Hikers rescued after spending night lost on Mt Maroon

Topics:  editors picks, swooping season




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

3 easy dinner recipes your kids will love, and so will you

No Caption

THERE is a middle ground! Dinners fit for kids and adults.

How to reduce your child's risk of food allergies

ABOUT 90% of food allergies are caused by just seven foods.

5 good mental health habits for kids (and parents)

CRYING OUT FOR HELP: The demand for counselling support for children and young people is increasing.

FORMING good habits early is critical for your child's mental health.

Smack or no smack - where do you stand?

THE debate is reignited - is smacking acceptable?

Susie O'Neill: Why I stopped smacking my children

Swimming legend Susie O'Neill says she has stopped smacking her kids.

“I (smacked) because that’s what I knew growing up."

Introducing a step-parent into the family

Introducing a step-parent into the family can be stressful for the children, as well as the new parent.

THERE is no easy way to introduce a step parent into the family.

Neumann notes the reasons why voters get in early in 2016

INFLUX: Shayne Neumann, pictured at the 2013 pre-poll, says more voters are availing themselves of pre-poll booths in 2016.

Pre-poll voting on the rise as school holidays beckon

Force women work hard to boost state league hopes

Ipswich Force head coach Brad George flanked by his players and assistant coaches.

Double victory at the right time

Hospital expansion adds 81 new beds

HEALTHY INVESTMENT: Mayor Paul Pisasale with St Andrews Private Hospital CEO Chris Went looking over building plans for the new section of the hospital which will see capacity double.

Private hospital's $64 million revamp brings more services

Latest deals and offers

Justice Lucy McCallum

Justice Lucy McCallum

Justice Lucy McCallum says she reduced Oliver Curtis's sentence due to comments...

Perisher has 50cm of snow

Resort to open after 50cm of snow.

Smiggin Holes and Blue Cow to open after 50cm of snaow falls in Perisher valley.

Hey Mumma Exercise

Do you think kids these days need more exercise?

Do you think kids these days need more exercise?

Is this state’s cheapest house?

BARGAIN BUY: Is this North Bundaberg property the cheapest home in Queensland?

Becoming a real estate mogul is all about risk and reward

Rockhampton property in a lull, but a change is coming

Rockhampton's housing market in "pre-election mode"