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Thanks to an active intervention program, at Whangarei Heads we really do have kiwi in our backyard.

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Darwin

Darwin was released at Mt Manaia as a mature adult in 2006. He quickly headed north, first to a scrub area at Kerr Road and then further north to a pine plantation at Campbell Road. After cruising around for a couple months he set up home at Lamb Road (the road behind the garage at Parua Bay Village).

He has stayed there ever since, for 5 years by himself, fat and happy but not breeding. In 2011 he teamed up with a local girl and had a successful nest. They have now successfully hatched 7 chicks. These chicks have been the catalyst for increased stoat trapping in the area through Lamb Road Landcare.

One of his chicks “James” travelled 4km westwards to Owhiwa Road where unfortunately he was found drowned in a buried cattle trough at 10 months old. James is an example of kiwi expanding out of Backyard kiwi area into the wider “Kiwi Coast” area.

Darwin’s tracked history – by Todd Hamilton

July 2017

At the Lamb road quarry in pampas. 11 days nesting 1/8/17 and his activity is down to 4 hours per night.

June 2017

At the Lamb road quarry. His activity is still 12 hours per night.

May 2017

Has moved back to the quarry. Did his annual transmitter change. He was in good condition ready for breeding season at 2270g. His activity is still 12 hours per night.

w-17.05-Darwin's drowned chick

Unfortunately one of his recent chicks turned up drowned in a pool.  The chick was only 3.5 months old but had already grown to 910g – not far short of the magic 1000g where she could fight of a stoat. This is a very high growth rate, probably because of the wet autumn meaning she had plenty of food. We knew it was Darwin’s chick because I had ID chipped it at the nest.

April 2017

Has moved away from quarry to bush beside Lamb road. High activity -11.5 hours/night.

March 2017

Usual area Lamb road quarry. High activity.

 

February 2017

Usual area Lamb road quarry. Has successful finished his nest beside Manaia Excavators truck yard. He hatched two chicks that I DNA sampled and ID chipped

w-Darwin's chicks 2017 febTodd with Darwin’s chipped chick

January 2017

2nd check in January shows Darwin nesting in pampas bush 5m from Manaia Excavators truck yard. His transmitter data stream shows that he has hatched his first chick and I’m waiting to see if there is a second before going into the nest. Hatch is due late January,

December 2016

Usual area Lamb road quarry. Renested in pampas bush 5m from Manaia Excavators truck yard. Hatch due late January.

 

November 2016

Usual area Lamb road quarry. Activity is lowish at 7.5 hours a night so it looks like he is renesting.


October 2016

Has finished nesting –he really put his back into it and was still in the same pampas bush over a month after hatching the first chick. I had a trial camera on the nest that took hundreds of 30 second videos of the activity there.
Heather Hunt and Mereana Wilkie have taken that footage and skilfully created a short video story of Darwin’s nest- Have a look, it is pretty cool.



September 2016

Nesting in pampas at Lamb Road quarry. After 78 days nesting he had hatched two chicks. I DNA sampled and ID chipped the chicks. Both are girls by their bill size: 310g and 47.7mm, 46.5mm and 290g. A trail camera set near the nest got some fantastic footage of the chicks feeding, dad coming and going for his nightly break and mum wandering past sometimes. Heather is planning to use the shots to make a video story for BYK. I took the opportunity to do Darwin’s 6 monthly band change and he was healthy but has lost at bit of weight as is expected after nesting.

w-16.09-Darwin's chicksDarwin’s girls

August 2016

Nesting in pampas at Lamb Road quarry. Nightly activity is a good low 2.5 hours after 51 days nesting. Hatch is due mid-September.

July 2016

In pampas at Lamb Road. Activity slowly dropping so may be starting to nest.

June 2016

In pampas at Lamb Road. 12 hours activity per night.

May 2016

In pampas at Lamb Road. 12 hours activity.

w-16.-Darwin portrait

w-16.06.03-Darwin

April 2016

In pampas at Lamb Road. Bernie and Ian gave me a hand to do his transmitter change – he was a healthy 2300g in weight.

March 2016

His nest in the pampas at the Lamb road quarry failed after 60 days, which is unusual.  Usually if a nest gets that close to hatching (at around 70 days) things are looking pretty good. I couldn’t locate the nest in dense pampas so am unsure of what happened.

February 2016

On his second nest of the season in the pampas at the Lamb road quarry. He had done 52 days on 26 Feb and had a good low nesting activity of 150 minutes per night.

January 2016

In the pampas at Lamb road quarry. He has renested – up to 30 days nesting on 4/2/16 and 110 minutes activity per night – which is good and low for nesting.


December 2015

Paura Bay School named his recently hatched chicks “Rocky” and “Rusty”. Darwin is now feeding up in the pampas at Lamb Road quarry recovering from his nest efforts.


November 2015

At Lamb Road quarry. He has hatched 2 chicks, his nest was in a pampas bush in an old dump area and had a sheet of corrugated iron for a roof keeping him super dry for the last 3 months.  By the time I could safely go into his nest his first chick had moved on (it had hatched 35 days before) but I managed to catch up with Darwin and his second chick who Parua Bay School are going to name.

October 2015

At Lamb Road quarry. He has hatched 2 chicks and has just about finished nesting. We have got some good video of mum, dad and the chicks, all separately, from a nearby trial camera – Heather is will edit this for a website video.


September 2015

At Lamb Road quarry. As suspected he has started nesting with 2 hours nightly activity at day 34. Hatch is due late October.


August 2015

At Lamb Road quarry. 8.5 hours nightly activity, down slightly so may be looking at nesting.


July 2015

At Lamb Road quarry. 9 hours nightly activity, down from 11.5 hours so may be looking at nesting.


June 2015

At Lamb Road quarry. 11.5 hours nightly activity.


May 2015

At Lamb Road quarry. 12 hours activity.


April 2015

At Lamb Road JR- Still no signal from this guy –looking more like transmitter failure all the time


March 2015

At Lamb Road quarry. He has finished nesting. He hatched the 1st chick “Murdoch” after 64 days but his second egg was a dud. I did his annual transmitter change – he was 2050g in weight.


February 2015

At Lamb Road quarry. Nesting in the pampas there, he hatched 1st chick after 64 days – it has been ID chipped and DNA sampled. At 11 days old he was 275g and has been named Murdoch by Lamb Road locals, in honour of Murdoch Ross. Darwin is still on a second egg which should be hatching any day now..


January 2015

Nesting in the pampas at Lamb Road quarry. Hatch is due late February.


November 2014

In pampas at Lamb Road quarry, feeding up after nesting. Activity 9 hours per night.


October 2014

Finished nesting in the pampas at the Lamb Road quarry. He hatched 2 chicks named “Frank” and “Harold” after Frank Lamb who recently passed away. Both these chicks had feather samples taken for DNA records and ID chips inserted before going back into the nest with Darwin.


August September 2014

Nesting in pampas at Lamb Road quarry. He hatched his 1st chick after 69 days nesting on the 26 September. This chick is named “Frank” after Frank Lamb who recently passed away. I will monitor him to see if there is a second hatch.


July 2014

In pampas at Lamb road quarry. Nesting 10 days on
 29/7/14. Activity is good and low for 10 days nesting at 4 hours.


June 2014

Usual area at Lamb Road, high activity.


May 2014

He went for a wander but is back at the Lamb Road quarry. His activity is high – 12.5 hours per night.


April 2014

In pampas at Lamb Road quarry – did his annual transmitter change change, now CT 78. He was a healthy pre-breeding weight of 2250g, and his activity is high at 12 hours per night.


February 2014

Was nesting at Lamb Road quarry but the nest failed and his activity has increased again.


January 2014

Nesting at Lamb Road quarry.


December 2013

At Lamb Road quarry in the pampas – high activity.


November 2013

Has moved back to the Lamb Road quarry in the pampas.


October 2013

Was nesting at Lamb Road but the nest failed after approximately 60 days. Did his six monthly transmitter band change while there was Bittern booming away beside him in the wetland at Lamb Road.


September 2013

He is nesting at Lamb Road. 3 hours nightly activity – nest will reach 65 days approx 27 October.


August 2013

He has just started nesting at Lamb Road – 5 hours nightly activity. Nest will reach 65 days approx 27 October


July 2013

In the Lamb Road quarry. His nightly activity is varying a bit but still high – 11 hours nightly.


June 2013

In the Lamb Road quarry – activity of 11 hours per night.


May 2013

In the Lamb Road quarry – false alarm on him starting to nest last month as his activity has increased.


April 2013

Back in the pampas in the Lamb Road quarry – his activity has dropped a bit and he may be starting to nest.


March 2013

After Darwin left his nest I DNA sampled and ID chipped his recently hatched chick – he was named “James” by the landowners at Lamb Road. No second egg in nest. After multiple unsuccessful visits to the pampas in the Lamb Road quarry I finally caught up with Darwin in the wetland beside the road for his annual transmitter change, he was in good condition and weighed 2005g.


February 2013

Nesting in pampas at Lamb Road – 1st chick has hatched. Now waiting on his activity to increase before doing transmitter change on Dad.


January 2013

Is in gorse at Lamb Road, and as suspected he started his second nest in mid December and it is due
to hatch in late Feb.


December 2012

Is in gorse at Lamb Road. His activity is dropping, hopefully meaning that he is starting his second nest…


November 2012

Is showing high activity – hopefully feeding up for a second nest at Lamb Road


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