Rook lookout is now underway

Rooks are capable of causing significant losses to agriculture and cropping industries

Rooks are capable of causing significant losses to agriculture and cropping industries

PESKY PEST LOOKOUT: The council’s biosecurity team are on the lookout for rook populations around Tairawhiti and ask the community to report any sightings to them, so appropriate control measures can be carried out File picture

GISBORNE District Council’s biosecurity team has started its annual surveillance and control measures against rook populations around the district.

Classified as a pest bird, rooks are capable of causing significant losses to agriculture and cropping industries.

Rooks forage over pasture land searching for grass grubs, leaving large pasture areas bare and exposed to weed establishment and wind erosion. Between September and December rooks form breeding colonies, making it the ideal time to carry out surveillance and control measures.

Typical nesting sites are in tall tree tops such as eucalyptus and pine, where they remain until juvenile birds leave the nest around December.

“We are monitoring a small population near Te Puia Springs and investigating another sighting at East Cape.

“Control work is planned to ensure all birds are destroyed over the next two months,” says a council spokesman.

Rooks are black with violet blue glossy sheen and are slightly larger than a magpie.

Their noisy “KAAH” calls are usually heard before they are spotted.

“It is important rooks are not disturbed by indiscriminate shooting as this will only split the group and disperse them elsewhere, making them more difficult to locate or carry out any effective control,” the spokesman says.

“To assist Council in locating these unwanted pest birds, sightings can be reported to Council’s customer service or directly to our biosecurity officer.”

GISBORNE District Council’s biosecurity team has started its annual surveillance and control measures against rook populations around the district.

Classified as a pest bird, rooks are capable of causing significant losses to agriculture and cropping industries.

Rooks forage over pasture land searching for grass grubs, leaving large pasture areas bare and exposed to weed establishment and wind erosion. Between September and December rooks form breeding colonies, making it the ideal time to carry out surveillance and control measures.

Typical nesting sites are in tall tree tops such as eucalyptus and pine, where they remain until juvenile birds leave the nest around December.

“We are monitoring a small population near Te Puia Springs and investigating another sighting at East Cape.

“Control work is planned to ensure all birds are destroyed over the next two months,” says a council spokesman.

Rooks are black with violet blue glossy sheen and are slightly larger than a magpie.

Their noisy “KAAH” calls are usually heard before they are spotted.

“It is important rooks are not disturbed by indiscriminate shooting as this will only split the group and disperse them elsewhere, making them more difficult to locate or carry out any effective control,” the spokesman says.

“To assist Council in locating these unwanted pest birds, sightings can be reported to Council’s customer service or directly to our biosecurity officer.”

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