Post by bra Post by ~misfit~ Post by bra
What I need is a decent .177 air rifle.
I have one of those. I've been using it lately to kill Australian
Eastern Rosellas that come to my garden to rip the flowers off my
prunus campanulata. I got another one yesterday.
I am gonna have to look them up, aren't I? Damn. :-)
The great nutcase Spike Milligan was once hauled into court for
shooting at cats that intruded into his garden in Hampstead. Good old
They're an escaped cage bird here in New Zealand. My main gripes with them
are that they make a horrible squawk (I like birdsong) and they ravage the
tree that I planted to feed native birds. The tree in question, prunus
campanulatus or Taiwanese cherry blossom, holds blossoms for about a month
and native nectar eating birds really benefit from it as it flowers right
before their breeding cycle starts.
The native birds will come back to the same flower up to 10 times a day and
each bloom lasts about 3 weeks. Over 200 'feeds' per blossom. The rosellas
however lack the proper mouthparts to sip nectar so they rip the flowers off
the tree, roll them around in their beaks then drop them. A pair of rosellas
can denude a tree that will feed 15 tuis (the most I've counted feeding in
the tree at once) for a month in not much more than a day. They also bully
the native birds are chase them from the tree. A parrot beak is far more
formidable than a nectar-eating bird's beak.
There are other reasons to cull rosellas - they are carriers of at least two
parrot-specific diseases. New Zealand has some of the strangest and rarest
parrots in the world and they have no defense to these diseases. Also the
rosella only nests in holes in tree trunks, a niche that is getting rarer by
the year. We have a similar but far more timid native parakeet (The
kakariki) that is currently only to be found on a few
mammalian-predator-free offshore islands that also only nests in tree
hollows. If it ever to be re-introduced to the mainland it will need nesting
Lastly the rosellas are prolific breeders capable of raising 18 chicks a
season given plentiful food. There used to be a guy in my area who had a far
more powerful and long-range weapon than my air rifle (he uses a 17 HMR) who
would cull around 50 rosellas a year without leaving his farm. I haven't
seen any posts / reports from him in the forums he used to frequent for a
few years now and I've noticed a big up-tick in rosella numbers...
So whenever I hear them in the tree in my back garden I break out the
(affordable) Chinese air rifle (but using German ammunition though, H&N
Sport Barracuda Hunter Extreme is very accurate and drops them like flies
out to 50 yards) and usually if I'm quiet I get one... I might have to
re-sit my firearms licence that I let lapse and get me one of those 17 HMRs
though. They weren't around back when I used to shoot more and they look
bloody deadly for 'varmints'. I always enjoyed going for slow quiet walks
while reducing the rabbit population *and* getting food and those 17 HMRs
look much better than the .22 LR I used to use for rabbits.
"Humans will have advanced a long, long way when religious belief has a cozy
little classification in the DSM*."
David Melville (in r.a.s.f1)
(*Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders)