Bake those chickens! Daycare is ‘infested’ with ibis that poop where the children play – but the council refuses to help
- Nursery has been taken over by flocks of ibis birds
- The Cubbyhouse Pre-school in Menai has to pay cleaners
- The birds leave their droppings ‘everywhere’ and it stinks
A nursery has been overrun by a swarm of ibis, with desperate staff demanding the council come up with a solution.
The protected species – colloquially referred to as ‘baking chickens’ – has been a health and safety concern for children at Cubbyhouse Pre-school in Menai in southern Sydney for the past three years.
They gather around the grounds, leave their poop “everywhere” children play and create a “terrible” stench, center staff say.
Footage from the center grounds shows the birds flying around, picking through the grass and sitting in rows upon rows on the roof of the school.
Other photos showed the extent of the damage their droppings did, with stains on sidewalks and outdoor seats in the center.
The ibis gather around the kindergarten grounds (pictured) and leave their poop ‘everywhere’ where kids play and babies crawl – and there’s a ‘terrible’ stench
The nursery’s Katherine Frankland said they have to pay each week for pressure washers to clean the dirt (pictured) left behind by the birds
Ms Frankland said Sutherland Shire Council has not provided a workable solution (photo, birds gathered in centre)
The birds are protected under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 because they are native and cannot be removed from the area and their habitats cannot be destroyed, according to the Sutherland Shire Council.
Katherine Frankland, the preschool principal, said the problem has been going on for three years.
“They all sleep in the trees above the service, so the next morning we come in and there’s poop everywhere,” Ms Frankland told Yahoo News Australia.
‘We have to clean that before the kids can go outside, because babies crawl around.
“We have to pay for pressure washers to come two, three times a week – but the birds come back at night.”
She added, “We just can’t afford to keep doing that because we’re a not-for-profit service.”
“Our money should go towards supporting these vulnerable families that we help support, but instead we’re paying to clean the yard.”
She said the center had to pay $300 each week to clean up the mess, and said the council has not provided a workable solution.
It has proposed cutting overhanging branches from trees that should not be removed, but Ms Frankland said it has done nothing to help.
It comes after another daycare next door closed due to the bird problem, making it unaffordable for staff to keep running.
Dying Ibis birds have also been a problem for staff, who then have to take them to the vet to be euthanized.
Ms Frankland said her main priority is the safety of the children, but the ibis problem is also depleting the centre’s human resources.
One member of staff should be on hand to oversee the mess the birds make day in and day out, removing a valuable worker from the children’s education program.
The director asked ‘what to give’ for the center to provide the children with a safe and clean environment.
One staff member must be present to supervise the continuous mess the birds make day after day (pictured).
The native ibis (pictured) is protected under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974
She added that the center has had to raise its prices in part because of the birds.
Shire Animal Rescue suggested that the school use a variety of methods to control the bird population, including using a green laser, floodlights, or a fake hawk.
But Ms Frankland said those techniques have not worked.
She said she did not want the birds to be wiped out, but called on the council to provide support and alternative measures that work.
The Sutherland Shire Council was approached by Daily Mail Australia for comment.