BIRDS had been eating Cape Northumberland Lighthouse.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority said the local birds were attracted to the high salt content of the stonework on the historic South Australian lighthouse.

To repair the bird damage, AMSA invested $2 million in a restoration project, which was completed this month after about 10 months of work.

The works included a refurbishment of the stone structure and replacement of the decayed limestone, a repaint of all internal and external surfaces of the lighthouse and ancillary building, a refurbishment of the balcony and lantern room and an electrical system upgrade.

AMSA executive director response Mark Morrow said at South Australia’s southern-most point, Cape Northumberland Lighthouse forms an iconic part of the Port MacDonnell coastline.

Addressing the unusual cause for refurbishment, Mr Morrow expressed confidence in the effectiveness of the newly applied paint coatings to deter future bird-related damage.

Pre-restoration stonework, showing possible damage from our avian brethren. Image: AMSA

“This stunning piece of South Australian history is now bird-proof and ready to be enjoyed by future generations,” he said.​

Mr Morrow also emphasised AMSA’s commitment to maintaining the safety of Australia’s aids to navigation network through “in-house technical expertise and specialist contractors”.

“Australia’s aids to navigation network has stood for over a century, evolving and expanding with the economic development of Australia and in response to advances in technological innovation, and growth in maritime trade and activity,” he said.

“AMSA has been the custodian of this network for the last 33 years, safeguarding the lives of seafarers and our precious seas and coastlines. ”​

“Together with our state and territory partners, we have ensured the maintenance, modernisation, and growth of this network through our work – today, it stands at more than 22,000 aids to navigation, of which about 450 are directly managed by AMSA.”