3 May 2010

Bellbirds coming back again

6:02 pm on 3 May 2010

The bellbird will be reintroduced to the Waikato and its population in Auckland replenished when 150 birds are released next Sunday.

The Auckland Regional Council and Landcare Research hope the release will boost the bellbird population in the upper North Island by introducing more breeding sites.

The bellbird has not been seen in Hamilton for more than a century.

Council staff and volunteers aim to take up to 150 birds from Auckland's Tiritiri Matangi and Tawharanui sancturies and release them simultaneously next Sunday at Hamiton's Te Parapara Garden, two areas of Waiheke Island, and on Motuihe Island.

A scientist at the regional council, Tim Lovegrove, says it shouldn't be too difficult to catch the required number of birds.

Pest control measures are being checked beforehand.

Feeders with sugar water and iPods playing bellbird songs will be placed at the new sites to stop the birds flying away.