A full investigation has been launched after a property of interest was found in the search for Wellington's sparrow killer.

SPCA inspectors visited a property in Kilbirnie yesterday after being tipped off to an aviary in a backyard containing decorated pigeons.

The pigeons were adorned with the same tinsel and trinkets recently found on sparrows in the area.

The sparrows have been starving to death due to the decorations preventing them from being able to eat or drink.

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Dead and injured birds have been found around the Wellington suburb of Kilbirnie, decorated with tinsel and trinkets. Photo / Supplied
Dead and injured birds have been found around the Wellington suburb of Kilbirnie, decorated with tinsel and trinkets. Photo / Supplied

SPCA regional manager for the central region Ros Alsford said the decorated pigeons were removed from the property and brought to their hospital where they were given a veterinary check and had the trinkets removed.

She said the birds were incredibly distressed when first brought in but are fine now.

"They were in okay health, the vets gave them a good health check. And once we removed the trinkets we sent them back to the property.

"The reason we did that is they were sitting on nests of eggs so we had to return them back to their nests.

The birds were initially distressed when first brought into the SPCA hospital, but are now doing well. Photo / Supplied
The birds were initially distressed when first brought into the SPCA hospital, but are now doing well. Photo / Supplied

"The aviary we removed the birds from was free-flowing so the birds weren't captured in there. We were comfortable that we needed to get them back to their eggs but they had the freedom to move in and out of the aviary."

Alsford said the property was now the focus of a full investigation but it was too early to say what was going to happen.

She wouldn't say how many people lived at the property.

"This is obviously a very new investigation, we're right at the beginning. Our inspectors will be investigating it properly."

The pigeons appeared to be decorated with the same tinsel and trinkets found on the sparrows, but Alsford said some of the pigeons were even more elaborate.

"What we saw yesterday when removing them is that some of the birds have actually been painted the same colour as the trinkets.

One pigeon had even been decorated with red paint, as well as the tinsel. Photo / Supplied
One pigeon had even been decorated with red paint, as well as the tinsel. Photo / Supplied

"One pigeon had quite bright red Christmas tinsel wrapped around its wings and then the top of its head had been painted with red paint as well as its wings had been tipped with red paint.

"It's not just a random person wrapping these trinkets around these birds because the trinkets are very tight and very carefully planned."

Alsford was delighted to have seen the case develop so quickly, but said she was still keen to hear from people who saw any decorated birds.

"We know there's still a lot of birds out there that are still decorated so please, we're very keen for people to come forward and talk to us if they see any further birds."