Noisy birds are to be left alone
There is a large flock of macaws that flies from the Pearl City area toward Aiea and back every day. They fly this route beginning around 6:30 to 7:30 a.m., returning between 5 and 6 p.m., and have done so for several years. They started out about four to five years ago as four to six birds and now number close to 100. They caw constantly while in flight. They are very noisy and cause a nuisance. When I first noticed the birds, I was concerned about their impact on the environment as an introduced/alien species. I contacted the state Board of Land and Natural Resources and was given the "it's not within our jurisdiction" routine. They did say they knew about the problem and were concerned, but it was out of their jurisdiction. Could you check on this and see if any eradication/control measures are being taken.
Answer: Nothing is planned at this point because the birds might be a noisy nuisance but are not considered a major problem or threat to the environment.
The birds are actually rose-ringed parakeets, not macaws, said David Smith, Oahu wildlife manager for the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.
"They're big parakeets," about 9 to 10 inches in height.
The flock probably started with caged birds that got loose and reproduced. Smith verified that there are now about 100 of them that "come up from the lower Waimano Valley area" -- from the forested gullies and gulches.
Smith says he doesn't get many reports about the birds: "Pretty much, people say they just see them flying back and forth.
"They can be an agricultural nuisance; they can be just a nuisance sometimes around houses and that kind of thing (because) they're kind of loud," he said.
However, while "there is some potential for some conflict with native species," Smith said, "we haven't seen that with this flock." For now, "we haven't done any control measures with these birds."
One reason is that "they're real tough to get to," he said, and would involve "a very big project."
With limited resources and no evidence of any adverse impact on the environment, plus the probability that "we would definitely draw the ire of certain people in the community," the decision is to just leave the birds alone, Smith said.
Meanwhile, individuals in the community cannot just go out and kill the birds.
They would need to get a permit from Smith's office because wild birds are protected by law.
Asked if he would issue such a permit, he said each situation would have to be assessed individually but that a control permit for a proven nuisance situation could be issued.
The Waimano area is believed to be the only area on Oahu with a flock of rose-ringed parakeets, he said. The Makiki area is known to have some wild silver-crested cockatoos, as well as about a half-dozen of another species of parakeet, he said.
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