Grand reward for bulbul
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.