Dead bird find stuns res­i­dents

The New Zealand Herald - - News - Michael Neil­son

Dozens of dead birds have been dis­cov­ered along two bays on Auck­land’s North Shore with fears they have been poi­soned.

Beach­go­ers at Rothe­say Bay and Brown’s Bay were alarmed to find the dead and dy­ing birds, in­clud­ing rock pi­geons and a black-backed gull, scat­tered along the bays on Wed­nes­day.

A North Shore woman who was out walk­ing her dog feared the birds had been poi­soned, and was con­cerned about dogs eat­ing the poi­son as well.

She told the Herald she had seen more than 20 dead birds, and more were dy­ing while she walked along the beach.

“One bird was still alive but it was dy­ing right in front of us. I sus­pect some­one has put poi­son down.” She had con­tacted Auck­land Coun­cil and the De­part­ment of Con­ser­va­tion.

DoC con­firmed to the Herald it was in­ves­ti­gat­ing the deaths.

DoC ranger Alex Wil­son said he col­lected 12 dead rock pi­geons and a dead ju­ve­nile black-backed gull that had been taken to a nearby vet­eri­nary clinic.

Black-backed gulls were a na­tive species, how­ever they were very abun­dant and were not pro­tected un­der the Wildlife Act 1953.

Rock pi­geons were a non­pro­tected in­tro­duced species.

The bird deaths come after dozens of birds died in two sep­a­rate in­ci­dents in Auck­land in Septem­ber.

In early Septem­ber, Ti­ti­rangi res­i­dents be­gan re­port­ing chick­ens, as well as a few roosters, sud­denly hav­ing vi­o­lent seizures and spasms.

The SPCA later con­firmed the birds had been poi­soned.

Near the end of Septem­ber dozens of dead and dy­ing pi­geons were found at Jel­li­coe Park in One­hunga.

Po­lice and the SPCA were look­ing into that in­ci­dent.

Photo / Jim Ea­gles

Black-backed gulls are a na­tive species, but are abun­dant and there­fore not pro­tected.

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