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Published: 2010-05-13 00:00:00

The Hamilton bellbird release is back on.

Twenty-five birds from Auckland’s Tawharanui Regional Park in Auckland are now due to be released at the Hamilton Gardens at 8am on Sunday 16 May. The event will be at the Te Parapara Garden and the public is very welcome to attend.

People wanting to attend the Sunday event should check Environment Waikato’s website www.ew.govt.nz beforehand to ensure the release is still going ahead.

A second group of 25 birds from Tiritiri Matangi Island in the Hauraki Gulf is scheduled for release on Monday 17 May in the Hamilton Gardens.

The releases were due to go ahead last weekend as part of New Zealand’s largest ever bird translocation project. The Hamilton part of the project is being led by Landcare Research, the University of Waikato and Environment Waikato with the support of Nga Mana Toopu o Kirikiriroa, the Department of Conservation and Hamilton City Council.

The postponement of last weekend’s event followed the discovery of the bacteria Yersinia in birds from Tiritiri Matangi. As the birds to be transferred were sharing cages, it was felt better to treat them all for the bacteria before letting any free.

The project to restore bellbirds to Hamilton follows on from the success of the Hamilton Halo initiative to get tui back to the city.

People will be able to report sightings of bellbirds through the Hamilton Halo webpage or by calling EW biodiversity officer Ben Paris at 0800 800 401.

Members of the public can keep up to date with latest news and information about Hamilton Halo at www.facebook.com/hamiltonhalo or www.twitter.com/hamiltonhalo.