In­va­sive bul­bul re­turns

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS -

Keep your eyes to the sky: The red­vented bul­bul is back.

The Min­istry for Pri­mary In­dus­tries is ask­ing Auck­lan­ders to keep a look out for the un­wanted bird species, which is be­lieved to have re­turned to the re­gion.

The bird – oth­er­wise known as Py­c­nono­tus cafer – is ag­gres­sive to other birds and is classed as one of the world’s most in­va­sive an­i­mal species.

It’s thought to have hitched a lift to New Zealand aboard a yacht or com­mer­cial ves­sel, min­istry re­sponse man­ager Jaap Knegt­mans says.

It’s the third time red-vented bul­buls have been found in Auck­land since they were erad­i­cated in the 1950s and again in 2006.

Mr Knegt­mans de­scribes them as medium-sized birds around the size of a star­ling.

They are gen­er­ally dark-coloured with a lighter chest and rump, a small crest on their head and a crim­son-red patch be­neath their tail.

‘‘This red patch is the key iden­ti­fi­ca­tion fea­ture.

‘‘If peo­ple have seen a bird with th­ese bright red feath­ers be­neath the tail, we’re very keen to hear from them,’’ Mr Knegt­mans says.

The min­istry is work­ing with Auck­land Coun­cil and the Con­ser­va­tion Depart­ment to track down and erad­i­cate the birds be­cause of the risk they pose to na­tive plants and birdlife.

Go to auck­land­c­i­ty­har­bournews. co.nz and click on Lat­est Edi­tion to hear the red-vented bul­bul’s dis­tinc­tive call.

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