Deterring Rainbow Bee-Eater nesting at Stuarts Point sports fields

Published on 23 August 2022

Rainbow Bee Eater.jpg

With the cricket season around the corner and Rainbow Bee-Eater breeding season approaching, Kempsey Shire Council is enacting a management plan for the birds that have been nesting at Stuarts Point sports fields.

While encouraging Rainbow Bee-Eaters to nest elsewhere is no quick fix, Council will begin deterrent measures at Stuarts Point sports fields from Wednesday 24 August.

Crews will install star pickets with safety bunting tape in a web-like pattern across part of the sports fields in an effort to deter the birds from building nests there. Council will also stop mowing the fields in the hope that the long grass will also encourage the birds to move elsewhere. 

An ecologist will be regularly monitoring the birds and their nesting habits.

It is hoped that these measures will mean the fields can remain open for the upcoming cricket season and other sport and recreation activities as the weather warms up.

Council would like to thank the community for their patience and understanding in this challenging situation.

Rainbow Bee-Eaters (Merops ornatus) are native birds that generally arrive in the Macleay in September. Their breeding season runs from early November through to January, and young birds leave their burrows around February.

In October 2022, it was confirmed that the birds were nesting throughout the Stuarts Point sports fields. As native species are protected under the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 (NSW)the fields were temporarily closed to protect the birds and their young, as any use was likely to significantly impact the birds’ burrows.

If you have any questions or concerns about the Rainbow Bee-Eaters, please contact Council’s Civic Services team on 6566 3200.