Bird feeder feeds more than just birds
LINDA Baker loves finches.
Her father used to trap and keep them and so she remembers fondly all the different varieties from her childhood.
This is one of the reasons why, last month, she was so horrified to find a carpet python, which she believed to be around 7ft long, had infiltrated her aviary and "cleaned up” nine canaries, quails and gouldian finches.
It had somehow even gotten into a head-heigh combination bird feeder and nest and gobbled up the bird incubating its eggs.
Yesterday, she had a friend visiting her property at Woodmillar where the incident occurred and Mrs Baker took the friend into the aviary to show her the carnage.
She rotated the feeder and got the shock of her life to be greeted by mottled olive scales: another carpet python, this one coiled tightly inside.
"We can't work out where they are getting in,” Mrs Baker said.
Friend Trudi Allen has also had a close encounter with a carpet python recently.
It was 8:30pm last Thursday and Trudi Allan had ducked into her office at LJ Hooker Gayndah to knock off some work.
Little did she know, she had company, lounging on the floor underneath the light switch.
"That's not what you want to see in the dark,” Ms Allan said.
Stories such as these have prompted North Burnett Regional Council to issue a public notice, urging people to snake-proof their homes, businesses and backyards.
"If you have a rock wall or other structure that has the potential to house frogs and rats, and in turn attract snakes, discourage these animals by blocking holes,” they said.
"Avoid creating habitat for snakes by keeping a tidy, well-maintained yard and shed.
"If there is a chance that a snake could find its way into your home you should have the number of a commercial snake catcher on hand.
"It is important to remember that snakes are an important part of the environment and the relocated snake is often replaced by another living nearby.
"The best approach is to snake-proof your house.”
Only licensed snake catchers can legally remove a snake from premises.
Andrew Buckley, from Buckley's Snake Relocation Services in Dallarnil, said this is for people's own safety but also that of the snake's.
"Even a carpet python, if it's mishandled, it can still bite you, it can still wrap itself around you and squeeze,” he said.
Typically in cooler months, snakes enter a state of "brumation”, where their metabolism slows and they become less active, although they don't fully hibernate.
However, Mr Buckley said that because of Burnett's generally warm winters, this will be less noticeable.
"I can't see it cooling down (enough) to put a dent in them,” he said.