Rooks are part of the family of birds that includes crows and ravens. They are larger than magpies and totally black. 


The Rook was brought to New Zealand between 1862 and 1873 to control insect pests. Large flocks of these birds can inflict thousands of dollars worth of damage to Otago's grain and new grass crops. There are currently only a few small to medium sized rookeries in Otago. 

Rook Control

We carry out all rook control operations from September to November each year. The success of this control programme relies on any rook sightings being reported to us. This information is essential to pinpointing where these birds are gathering, feeding and nesting in rookeries.

There is no charge to the landowner for rook control in the Otago region.

Control efforts have been successful, with the Otago rook population reduced to around 50 rooks from thousands at its peak. No chicks have been reported in the last four years, meaning the rook population may now be non-breeding. Rooks have previously been spotted in Maniototo, Strath Taieri, Middlemarch, and south Otago around Clinton and Clydevale.

View the latest rook advertisement here

What you can do

Do not shoot at or otherwise frighten off any rooks on your property.

Such actions can result in a scattering of the rook population and the forming of new colonies. The birds become wary, making them much more difficult to control.

The Otago Pest Management Plan prohibits any unauthorised person from poisoning, capturing, trapping, shooting, or interfering with a rook nest.

If you have rooks on your property or observe them anywhere in Otago, please contact us.

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