Looking to rout out Otago rooks

A rook in the wild. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
A rook in the wild. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
Be on the lookout for rooks this spring, the Otago Regional Council requests.

Council environmental implementation team leader Libby Caldwell said the council wanted to get rid of all rooks from Otago.

‘‘We need help from the community to spot them around Otago.’’

Rooks were thought to be in very low numbers due to successful control efforts in past years.

‘‘They are very hard to find in the wild, making reports from the community essential.’’

Anyone who spots a rook in Otago should contact the council as soon as possible.

“There is only one rule for rooks in our pest management plan: you cannot undertake control measures unless you are authorised. Instead, the best thing you can do is let us know right away so that we can pinpoint their rookeries and take effective controls.

“The reason for this rule is that rooks scare easily and will scatter if they are disturbed, making effective control more difficult.”

Ms Caldwell described rooks as large, crow-like birds with glossy, purplish-black feathers and whiteish beaks.

‘‘They have a distinctive ‘kaah’ call and often return to previous rookeries during breeding seasons.’’

A rook was considered a pest due to its ability to destroy new grain and grass crops.

The council would be inspecting previous known rook locations and undertaking control measures if any were discovered, she said.

To report sightings call 0800474-082 or email pest@orc.govt.nz.


I can guarantee one thing. If I spot any rooks in my travels I will not be notifying the authorities.
Go the rooks!