Have you seen this bird?
KVH is asking those working or living in Te Puke to report any sightings of an aggressive pest bird, the red-vented bulbul.
The bird is an introduced pest that’s renowned for the damage it inflicts on fruit and vegetable crops. With our extensive kiwifruit industry and other horticultural crops, this is not a bird we want in the Bay of Plenty. It is aggressive, chasing off other birds, including native species, competing with them for food and space.
A single red-vented bulbul was found and removed near Te Puke in 2016. If you think you’ve seen one, please report the sighting to MPI on 0800 80 99 66 with an indication of location as well as a photo if possible.
Red-vented bulbuls are a medium-sized bird around the size of a starling (20cm in length – body and tail). They are generally dark brown/grey coloured with a lighter chest and rump, a small crest (upstanding feathers) on their head, and significantly, a very distinctive crimson-red patch of feathers beneath their tail. They have quite a distinctive sound, which you can listen to here.
In recent years, small populations of the bird have been eradicated from areas in Auckland. Although they are established in Australia and on some Pacific islands, they are not likely to have flown to New Zealand but it's possible they have stowed away on large ocean-going vessels.