Grand re­ward for bulbul

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By CIARA PRATT

Bird­watch­ers, get your binoc­u­lars out and get ready to cash in.

A $1000 re­ward is on of­fer for sight­ings of a pest bird, the red­vented bulbul.

The Depart­ment of Con­ser­va­tion, Auck­land Coun­cil and Min­istry for Pri­mary In­dus­tries are all work­ing to­wards erad­i­cat­ing the bird that has been sighted around Auck­land.

Red-vented bul­buls are known to dam­age fruit and veg­etable crops and are en­dan­ger­ing na­tive species by at­tack­ing other birds. A $300 re­ward was of­fered in Oc­to­ber but fail­ure to cap­ture the species has seen the stakes in­creased.

DOC spokes­woman Liz Brooks says more than 70 calls about pos­si­ble sight­ings have been fielded but the birds have so far avoided cap­ture.

‘‘We think there are at least five red-vented bul­buls in Auck­land, which most likely ar­rived by ship or yacht. They’ve ar­rived in Auck­land twice be­fore and were erad­i­cated both times. They’re here again and we want to elim­i­nate them be­fore they make them­selves at home.’’

Red-vented bul­buls are a medi­um­sized bird about 20 cen­time­tres long. They have a black head, a dark back, grey-white belly, and a dis­tinc­tive crim­son-red patch be­neath their tail.

To hear the dis­tinc­tive call of a red-vented bulbul visit biose­cu­rity.govt.nz/pests/red­vented-bulbul, or to re­port a sight­ing call 0800 809 966.

The re­ward will go to­wards the sight­ing that re­sults in the birds’ cap­ture.

Big re­ward: A $1000 re­ward has been put up for sight­ings of the red-vented bulbul.

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