Straw-necked ibis return to Albany for breeding and residents have mixed emotions

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Shannon SmithAlbany Advertiser
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Straw-necked ibis have come back to nest at Lake Seppings,
Camera IconStraw-necked ibis have come back to nest at Lake Seppings, Credit: Laurie Benson/Albany Advertiser, Laurie Benson

It is that time of year when residents cheer or groan at the return of the straw-necked ibis to Albany.

Lake Seppings attracts the native birds each year for breeding, but some of those who live nearby complain that the birds bring noise and a foul smell with them. The wetland is the only known breeding site in the region for the species of ibis, which flocks in big numbers.

The City of Albany has studied the patterns of the birds returning to Albany, finding they were only in the area to nest and raise chicks.

City reserves manager Jacqui Freeman encouraged people to embrace the seasonal visitors and take the opportunity to observe the role they play in the local ecosystem.

“Now is the time of year when native bird the ibis returns to Lake Seppings for breeding as it is a functional wetland that provides a suitable habitat for the species,” she said.

“The City have discovered that over recent years the birds are only returning to breed before dispersing and ultimately reducing the numbers back down for the remainder of the year.

“The annual breeding event is one to be observed as the ibis play a significant role in natural wetland ecology.”

The birds are protected under the Wildlife Act.

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