Have you seen (or heard) this bird?

27 May 2016

The Red vented bulbul is an unwanted pest in New Zealand. While MPI has confirmed reports a number of these birds are present in the wider Auckland area, one was recently found in Te Puke.

An observant resident recognised its distinct bird call and immediately contacted the MPI exotic pest and disease hotline. A DOC ranger was subsequently deployed and was able to identify and destroy the bird.

Native to Pakistan and Southwest China, the Red vented Bulbul has established in a number of Pacific Islands. Evidence suggests they spread to new land masses on board sea vessels which may be how these birds have got here.

The Red-vented bulbul is an aggressive bird known to cause significant damage to fruit and vegetable crops and attack other birds.


  • Small–medium sized bird (larger than a sparrow, but smaller than a blackbird)
  • Approximately 20 cm in length
  • Dark brown/black in colour with a light coloured belly and the distinctive crimson-red patch beneath the tail.
  • Head is black with a small peaked crest.

Click here for a fact sheet where you can listen to its call.

If you think you have seen or heard the Red vented bulbul, or any other unusual pest or disease, please contact the MPI exotic pest and disease hotline on 0800 665 825.