Unwanted parakeet remains out of sight in tree haven

By Astrid Austin -
1 comment
Catriona Geddes (left), Mikayla Kingston, Ruby Stent, Lily Bernhardi, and Brooke Wray, all year 10 students from Woodford House, on the lookout for an errant parakeet. Photo / Paul Taylor
Catriona Geddes (left), Mikayla Kingston, Ruby Stent, Lily Bernhardi, and Brooke Wray, all year 10 students from Woodford House, on the lookout for an errant parakeet. Photo / Paul Taylor

Residents and students are keeping a keen eye out for sightings of an unwelcome visitor.

Woodford House students were on high alert for the one remaining Indian ringneck parakeet which had established in trees nearby, but had so far come out empty handed.

The dense bush and high population of native birds in the area made it difficult to spot the elusive parakeet.

Year 10 Woodford House student Catriona Geddes said it was an interesting situation and hoped they wouldn't endanger any native birdlife.

"I hope they are caught and reunited with family. We'll definitely be looking."

Fellow student Lily Bernhardi said it had made her more aware of the bird life in the area and she was keen to look into parakeets.

Kopanga Rd resident John Worden was oblivious to the new inhabitant.

"I haven't seen the things. I do know that they have been here for a while; probably a couple of years. They used to hang about four doors up."

He said he hoped they wouldn't be a threat to existing bird life.

"They can be pretty aggressive. We have a gully full of trees, and great bird life, with probably 20 to 25 native birds here."

Neighbouring resident Melissa Story used to have pet parakeets when she was a child and didn't believe they were a danger at all.

"I've only ever seen two darting around and chasing each other a couple months ago. One was blue and the other one was yellow."

"We still have got lots of tui and pigeons and I haven't seen any decline," Mrs Story said.

President of the Hawke's Bay Bird Club Don Birch said he had never heard of them colonising.

"They wouldn't carry any diseases. I can't see them taking over. There is more damage with 1080 poison than anything else."

A spokesman for the Ministry for Primary Industries said it had not received any complaints, but had rather been getting great support.

"It is believed they may have been around for a few years but were only reported to MPI in 2016. We need to confirm that there are no further birds in the area, other than the known individual."

The spokesman said they had been humanely disposed of.

"The location of the nest was not conducive for the use of traps to remove the birds. Therefore the birds have been dispatched in accordance to an approved animal welfare plan by means of a firearm by a trained and experienced professional with all necessary clearances."

"They have the potential do damage certain fruit crops, particularly if they are allowed to grow in numbers."

Indian Ringneck Parakeets:

* These birds are natives of Africa and India and are commonly held as captive pets in New Zealand.

* These small parrots are about 40cm from their head to the tip of their tail. - Most male birds have a black line around their neck. Females and young birds don't have this marking.

* The 2 small populations found in the Hikutaia area in the Thames-Coromandel district, which have now been removed and in Havelock North are believed to be the result of caged birds escaping.

* They are classified as an 'Unwanted Organism', which means they can only be released with permission from MPI. Release without this permit is an offence under the Biosecurity Act 1993.

* They pose a risk to native birds and bats by competing for food, taking nesting places and introducing diseases. They're also well-known agricultural pests of some cereal and fruit crops.

* If you have Indian ringneck parakeets as pets; take care that they don't escape, have their wings clipped regularly and don't release them into the wild.

- If you see any of these birds in the wild call Ministry for Primary Industries on 0800 80 99 66.

For more articles from this region, go to

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

Have your say

1200 characters left

By and large our readers' comments are respectful and courteous. We're sure you'll fit in well.
View commenting guidelines.

Sort by
  • Oldest

© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf03 at 05 Dec 2016 23:50:14 Processing Time: 374ms