Nesting instinct is for the birds

Nesting birds are causing hundreds of thousands of dollars damage to farming equipment. Source: The Advocate (Tasmania)

With the dry season upon the state’s farmers and tractors being used to harvest hay, and William Adams agriculture business manager Jamie Palmer is urging all farmers to check their tractors before use.

Recently Mr Palmer had three customers coming to William Adams to purchase new tractors after theirs were burnt out due to nesting birds.

As well as those three, Mr Palmer said there were plenty of other farmers out there whose tractors had caught fire because of the bird’s nests.

“This happens every year, but with the drier weather things are easier to ignite,” he said.

The issue is caused when a bird begins to build a nest up under the bonnet of a tractor.

When the tractor was used, Mr Palmer said the exhaust heated up the nest which then caught fire.

He said the only way to tackle the issue was to regularly inspect under the bonnet and cab where birds may be nesting He also said all tractors should be fitted with fire extinguishers.

“Always have a look around the tractor before starting it again, especially in dry conditions.”

The Tasmania Fire Service was called to a Smithton tractor fire in October which was later found to be caused by nesting birds.

The tractor was burnt out and damage was estimated to be $110,000.

The owner at the time was using the tractor to cut silage. He said that he could not believe how quickly the fire took hold of the vehicle.