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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.

 

 

 

 

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Topics:  editors picks, swooping season




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