Angry Bird sightings drop since reward
The number of redvented bulbul reports has dropped sharply since the announcement of a $1000 reward, much to the surprise of Department of Conservation staff.
The bounty was announced last November as authorities made desperate attempts to eradicate the invasive pest from Auckland.
As of October last year up to five red-vented bulbuls, nicknamed the Angry Bird for their aggressive nature, were believed to be living in the Auckland region.
The bird is listed as an unwanted organism under the Biosecurity Act 1993 and is considered to pose a threat to native birds like the kereru, as well as fruit and vegetable crops.
DOC says the bird most likely arrived by sea from South Asia.
‘‘They are kept for fighting and betting in India.
‘‘It’s possible they could have been kept as companions or pets on ships.’’
It is the third time since the 1950s that the bulbul has wreaked havoc in Auckland.
DOC biosecurity ranger Art Polkanov says the team has received a total of sightings.
The red-vented bulbul is around 20cm long and has a dark head, greywhite belly and a crimson red patch beneath its tail.
Angry birds: Minister of Conservation Nick Smith with the red-vented bulbul.