Waikanae Palms birds to be relocated

As part of the phoenix palm removal happening this week in Mahara Place, Waikanae, the Kāpiti Coast District Council is working with experts on a plan for retrieving and relocating any nesting birds found in the trees.

“We’ve been approached by some concerned residents about the timing of the palm tree removal, because it’s likely that sparrows are nesting in the trees at this time of year. Last week we commenced work to develop a plan for safely retrieving and relocating any birds found,” says Sean Mallon, Group Manager Infrastructure Services.

“We’ve been working with experts who’ve offered advice about the birds living in these trees. They’ve advised us that the birds can nest all year round if there is food available, and in urban areas like the town centre, there usually is a continuous supply of leftovers and crumbs.

“Based on all the advice we’ve received, we’ll go ahead with the removal as planned. Tree removal work is planned for tomorrow, through until Thursday 22 November and we have a plan in place for retrieving and relocating any nesting birds from the trees.”

Mr Mallon says the decision to remove the trees wasn’t any easy one, but was made after discussion with a tree arborist, designers, the community board and the Mahara Place Development Committee.

“A range of factors were taken into account. This includes the trees’ suitability to the space, their long-term health, their ability to withstand construction work, and people’s health and safety.

“The tree condition report carried out states that the trees are likely to become unstable in the future, even if they survive construction around them.”