Native bird spotted in Auckland for first time in 100 years

Source: Seven Sharp

A PhD student with a love of birds has made a rather unexpected discovery in the heart of Central Auckland.

Rosie Gerolemou has been researching the outcomes of community pest control and monitoring bird nests around Auckland.

She was focussed on discovering whether some areas had differing approaches to pest control.

However, what she discovered was even better.

Her camera at Auckland's Waiatarua Reserve captured a bellbird, leaving both Gerolemou and other bird experts gobsmacked.

Rosie Gerolemou looking through her binoculars.

The bellbird hasn't been seen, or heard, in Greater Auckland for over 100 years.

"We were really excited when we saw Rosie's footage," her supervisor and conservation biologist James Russell said.

"It shows that bellbirds are penetrating right into the heart of Auckland City, and I think this just represents five years of Predator Free New Zealand really starting to gel-in and we're really starting to see the benefits of where rare birds such as bellbirds are coming back to places they haven't been for hundreds of years.

"With so many New Zealand birds that are threatened with extinction, or what we call range-restricted - only found in a small area - I think we have a lot of opportunity to see more and more of these birds returning across our urban landscapes and our entire country."

Seven Sharp went along for a look in the video above.