12 Jul 2013

Bad bird on the loose in Auckland

3:41 pm on 12 July 2013

Biosecurity officials say some aggressive pest birds sighted in the Auckland area may be cute - but they're anything but.

The red-vented bulbul.

The red-vented bulbul. Photo: Anton Croos

The Ministry for Primary Industries says the red-vented bulbul, which is native to parts of Asia, has been spotted in the suburbs of Mangere and Devonport, and possibly on the Whangaparoa peninsula.

The ministry says the species is aggressive to other birds and known to cause damage to crops. It believes the birds could have hitched a ride to New Zealand on a commercial vessel or a yacht.

While only a couple have been spotted so far, the ministry wants to hear from anyone who may have seen one.

Red-vented bulbuls are described as being generally dark-coloured with a lighter chest and a distinctive red patch under their tail.