COCKATOOS are wreaking havoc on one of Warrnambool’s landmark places of worship.
In the search for a new home, the birds have eaten their way through two large sandstone blocks high on the spire of St Joseph’s Catholic Church and damaged the facing on other blocks.
Yesterday morning local builder Leigh Monaghan was hoisted high above the city in a crane bucket to get a better view of the damage, which can’t be seen from the ground because it’s hidden behind stonework and gables on the church roof.
“They have chewed their way through two flint-like sandstone blocks that are about 300 millimetres thick to gain access to a nesting spot in the tower,” he said.
“They’ve also damaged the facing on a number of other blocks around their nesting areas.”
Mr Monaghan said the spire was structurally sound and posed no threat to the public.
“But it will need repair in the future to prevent any further damage,” he said.
“I collected a couple of samples from the town and will be sending them to a stonemason for advice. We will then work on a strategy for the church to implement.”
Mr Monaghan said to source suitably qualified stonemasons, materials and to scaffold the spire would be costly and needs further investigation.