A kingfisher swallowed a cane toad near Kakadu | A woman in south-east QLD
saw rainbow lorikeets fall from the sky | A flock of brolga fished for frogs in an algal
bloom | Outside Cairns, a bush-stone curlew bounced off the bonnet of a speeding
ute | Near Broome, a grey nomad pulled a blue-faced finch from the radiator of his
4WD | A satin bowerbird choked on a plastic bottle cap | A wandering albatross
regurgitated a squid jig | A woman in Parkes discovered a pile of dead galahs
Two red balloons were extracted from the swollen belly of a grey-headed
albatross | A marine biologist found a barn owl, face in the sand,
next to a half-eaten rat | Not far from Adelaide, an Australian
gannet drowned in a fishing net | A magpie strutted back
and forth on the bitumen beside his flattened mate
Flocks of bar-tailed godwit landed in a car
park that used to be an estuary | The
gang-gang cockatoo, emblem of
the ACT, did not return after
the bushfires | A boy
wrote to Bun-
This poem is composed from information found in Australian newspaper articles and research papers.
It was inspired by a Sydney Morning Herald article titled ‘Off-the-shelf rat poisons killing owls too – and Bunnings asked to act.’
In the article, journalist Miki Perkins, cites BirdLife Australia-commissioned research that found 97% of dead powerful owls in the Sydney region (n=38) had second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides in their livers and 60% had levels high enough to cause impairment.
These poisons have been restricted from general sale in the US, Canada and the European Union but can be bought in supermarkets and hardware stores across Australia.
According to BirdLife Australia, there are about 25 rat poisons available at Bunnings stores, and all but two are second-generation anticoagulant poisons.