29 Apr 2009

Poor muttonbird season reported

9:45 pm on 29 April 2009

Muttonbirders say this season has been poor.

Normally buckets of up to 500 birds are caught most nights during the two-month season on the islands near Stewart Island.

However, muttonbirders are reporting only about 30 and that they are very small.

Bluff Fishermen's Shore Radio manager Meri Leask says it is one of the worst seasons in more than 40 years and few muttonbirds will to go to market this season.

She says it appears the birds are dying from a lack of food. Many have been found dead in holes or on the ground.