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Look Our For Rooks

Rook image copyright Duncan Watson

Landowners should be on the look out for rooks which are getting ready to pair off for the breeding season.

In enough numbers, rooks can wreck pasture or new crops on farms, causing significant economic damage, while the noise from rookeries located near homesteads can be annoying.

The breeding season for rooks starts mid-August and goes through to mid to late October.  Hawke’s Bay Regional Council’s helicopter aerial nest control programme is about a month away from starting.

“The sooner that we can get our contractor onto these pests, the more time is available to control them, and the sooner you get your crops and pasture back in order,” says Dean Roughton, HBRC animal pest advisor.

Where rooks have turned up for the first time or haven’t been for a while, Hawke’s Bay Regional Council would like to know as the establishment of new nests or rookeries should be discouraged. 

After the nesting season from late October onwards, HBRC is keen to hear about any large numbers of rooks feeding on paddocks and young planted crops, as another type of control programme can be put into action.

Landowners can contact HBRC to alert the Biosecurity team that rooks are around - contact Dean Roughton, HBRC animal pest advisor, 06 833 8088, 0274 766 036 or email

Rook, image copyright Duncan Watson,

25 August 2017

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