Invasive bulbul returns
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.