Reddit users have been sharing images of the bird’s nest construction on their website for the past month.
In a statement released Friday afternoon, before workers visited the site, Transport for NSW said it planned to install chicken wire “to further deter the bird from nesting there again”.
On Saturday, two birds added to the nest were spotted.
Common mynas, also known as Indian mynas, are an introduced species and are considered a pest. North Sydney Council has previously held workshops to educate the public on how to catch the birds and provides traps to affected residents.
Gisela Kaplan, professor emeritus of animal behavior at the University of New England, said she’d never seen a nest in a traffic light, but she believed the bird — like many Sydneysiders — was likely experiencing housing stress.
“Nest spaces for birds have been decimated by cutting down trees and building houses, making properties so small that people can’t even put a bush in their backyard,” she said.
“The other side of the story is that Australia has very intelligent birds, and a solid structure like a traffic light, which also has some heat, seems like a very good place to nest.”
Kaplan said the strips of plants seen on the traffic light were the first stage of nest building, and it was possible the bird was only interested in that particular traffic light because others at the intersection were outside its territorial feeding areas.
However, she said there was a particularly puzzling element to the saga: Common myna birds, also known as Indian mynas, don’t usually build nests, but instead make use of nesting holes in trees.
The birds can thereby kill native animals, such as rosellas.
dr. Diane Colombelli-Negrel, a bird researcher at Flinders University, said a bird would return to the same location to build a nest if it was successful in the past, that is, if its nest was a home for its young.
“Birds build nests to attract a mate, or build a nest with a mate,” she explained. She had also never seen a bird’s nest in a traffic light, but there had been cases of birds nesting on seldom-used cars and buildings.
“Birds adapted to an urban area can be opportunistic and nest on anything available,” she said.
Both researchers agreed that repeatedly removing the nest would likely deter future construction. However, Kaplan said that if the bird was a native bird, she would have recommended installing a nesting box at the same height so the bird could make a new, safer home.
“But it’s more useful to catch a myna,” she said.
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