Thanks Martin. I agree. Bird info is poorly understood by people who have been…and remain…unaware or unconcerned about the state of the environment and the plight of wildlife worldwide. On Agonist I read (but did not post a respnse to):

re some (300?) greenfinches died in urban Christchurch recently. "Bird Rescue want answers after many green finches died in Sockburn at the weekend. The small birds died en masse in as yet unexplained circumstances on Saturday which has angered Bird Rescue co-ordinator Linda Cooper. Poisoning of green finches was not illegal because they were not native birds, she said. "But if people could see their suffering, they would think again. Death is not instant. They can suffer for hours," she said. The alarm was raised by Lynn Styles, who found the dead and dying birds as she walked down her driveway after work on Saturday. Dozens of green finches littered the ground, while others were falling out of trees and foaming at the mouth…"

Martin, NB Greenfinches are recorded by DOC et al at nearby Banks Peninsula (Dept of Conservation reserve for migratory birds). I would love to know if any testing was done on the possibly poisoned birds. Since such exotic birds pose risks to native ecology, DOC etc are unlikely to have been interested in a possible poisoning…was anyone checking for H5N1? Do you have contacts that could answer this?