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Rooks (Corvus frugilegus) are native to Great Britain and Europe and were introduced to New Zealand by early settlers.    

Rooks are only present along our southern boundary with the Wairoa District, in particular the Tiniroto area.  

Why are rooks pests?

Rooks are a potential threat to the district's cropping industry.  The main damage they cause to crops is eating and destroying newly sown cereals, ripening lentils, pumpkin seeds and occasionally potatoes and fruit.   They also pull young maize and pumpkin plants from the ground to get the seed.

Identifying rooks

A rook, also referred to as a crow or raven, is a large black bird, about the same size as a magpie.

Rooks call out with a raucous "caw caw" sound mostly heard while in flight and normally heard before being seen.

Rooks nest in tall trees such as eucalyptus or pines.  The young are hatched from late September until early November and are able to fly within 28 days of hatching.  Rooks can breed when 2 years old and will mate for life.

Who is responsible for the control of rooks?

The rook is classified 'Eradication' pest in the Gisborne district.  Council policy is to get rid of any rooks that spread into our district.

Council staff carry out annual monitoring of old rookeries or nesting sites starting in early August. 

Reporting rooks

Land occupiers should report any rook sightings to us as soon as possible.  Please try to avoid disturbing them as this will make control very difficult.   
If you see a rook, ring us on 06 867 2049 or 0800 653 800 anytime.  The following information will be helpful:

A Rook

  • date and time sighted
  • location of where it was sighted
  • was it a lone rook - flying, nesting, feeding?
  • was it a flock of rooks - roosting, nesting, feeding?

Thank you for helping to rid our district of rooks.