By MADELEINE DOHERTY
BUDGIE banter has landed a Terranora couple in court after a neighbour took exception to allegedly incessant noise from the birds.
Mick Bell and Julianne Maher have six budgies which they bought for their two children.
But neighbour Todd Capper is not amused by the noise emanating from the budgies' aviary and has gone to court to have the "offensive" noise stopped.
Mr Capper told the Tweed Court yesterday he was woken every morning by the budgies, and the noise continued through the day, seven days a week.
"But it's particularly in the morning, just after dawn, and it wakes me up," Mr Capper said.
Perched behind the bench, Magistrate Jeff Linden raised his head, looked at Mr Capper and said: "Tweet, tweet, tweet".
The budgie owners are bewildered by their neighbour's stand on the birds.
"Mr Capper doesn't even border directly onto our property and the neighbour who does didn't even know we had birds," Ms Maher said.
The first the couple knew of the problem came via a visit from a Tweed Shire ranger regarding their dog.
But the dog was given the all-clear when the ranger decided it was not a serial barker.
Then a court letter arrived requesting their attendance at Tweed Court to answer for the boisterous budgies.
Mr Capper said there had been a problem with the previous neighbour who had kept "mindless parrots that just screeched their heads off".
"It's an issue for society and some people may not feel comfortable acting on it, but I don't mind taking the guy to court,'' he said.
"I don't see why I have to suffer.
"People have a right to live free of noise and I just want to live in my house without constant noise," Mr Capper said.
Meanwhile the budgie owners are seeking legal advice.
The budgies will have their day in court with the hearing date set for August 16.