Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Marlborough on the rook lookout

Marlburians are being urged to keep an eye out for rooks, one of the most destructive introduced birds.

Marlborough District Council’s Senior Biosecurity Officer, Liam Falconer said the intelligent birds are capable of stripping crops and ripping up paddocks in the region.

“Rooks are larger than magpies with glossy black feathers with a slight purple tint,” said Mr Falconer.

“They have a distinctive ‘kaak’ call and are particularly noisy during the spring breeding season. Their favoured nesting spot is the top of tall pine and gum trees.”

The last active rookery in Marlborough was eradicated in 2006. Two rooks had since arrived and been culled in 2019 and 2020, Mr Falconer said.

“Rooks continue to be an ongoing problem in the North Island and could easily fly here,” he said.

“If birds were looking to make their way here, then they would likely do so in spring when they want to nest.”

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