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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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Whitu

Whitu was released at Jaggers’ pines on the East side of Manaia back in November 2005. He was an adult male weighting 2220g, had a bill length of 92.4mm and had come from Doc’s local ONE programme. He quickly moved over to Mt Aubrey and spent a few months at Little Munro Bay before heading up the hill to Leo Robinson’s place opposite the Manaia Club. He spent the next 2 years on the eastern side of Mt Aubry between the Manaia Club and Little Munro Bay.

November 2019

Feeding up near the freezing works after hatching two chicks. The Onerahi and Whangarei Heads Lions have named one “Raiona” and Opticmix who print our Kiwi Prints have named the other “Kara”.

October 2019

Frank got his data stream daily for over a month after his first hatch was shown by the radio signal before his activity started to rise and it was safe to check the nest. I checked the nest on 23/10/19 after 102 days of nesting and he had successfully hatched two chicks – The Onerahi and Whangarei Heads Lions have named one “Raiona” and the other chick has been named “Kara” (colour) by Opticmix who print our unique fine art Kiwi Prints.

September 2019

Nesting above the freezing works. Frank has been getting daily data streams from Whitu’s radio transmitter so we can time the safe checking of his nest. As of yesterday he had been nesting 80 days and hatched his first chick 10 days ago. His activity is still only 1 hour nightly suggesting that he is still on his second egg so we are waiting for that activity to increase before having a look.

August 2019

No signal this month.

July 2019

In the pampas above the freezing works at Reotahi. He had started nesting but after only 12 days his activity went back up to 9 hours per night and the nest failed.

June 2019

In the pampas above the freezing works, Reotahi. Activity down a bit at 10 hours with some lower nights so may be starting to nest.

May 2019

In the pampas above the freezing works , Reotahi. 11 hours nightly activity.

April 2019

At freezing works, Reotahi. 11.5 hours nightly activity.

March 2019

At freezing works, Reotahi. 11 hours nightly activity.

February 2019

At freezing works. 10 hours nightly activity after nesting.

January 2019

Nested in pampas at the freezing works. After  99 days the data stream showed that he was finishing nesting and that his first egg had hatched 24 days before. On checking the nest the 1st chick had moved on, but his second successfully hatched chick was still there and I ID chipped him (see picture). Dad now has a new transmitter and is feeding up after nesting.

Whitus’s summer chick

Whitu January 2019

December 2018

Also re-nested, in pampas at the freezing works. Up to 94 days now and the data stream showed that his first egg hatched 20 days ago but his activity is still very low, so I’m still waiting for the second egg to hatch before I handle him.

November 2018

In pampas at the freezing works. 46 days on his nest  19/11/18, 1.5 hours activity.

October 2018

Has re-nested too, in pampas at the freezing works. 21 days on 25/10/18, 2.5 hours activity.

September 2018

Usual area at freezing works ruins at Reotahi. After his first nest failed his activity went up to the usual 11-12 hours per night but recently has dropped on the odd night so he and his mate may be having another go at nesting.

August 2018

Usual area at freezing works ruins at Reotahi. His nest went for 89 days before he gave up on it.  The first egg was infertile and had gone rotten possibly infecting the second egg which had a well-developed but dead chick in it. The pampas bush he was nesting in was old and rotting so wasn’t as weather proof as the usual pampas nests.

July 2018

Usual area at freezing works ruins at Reotahi. He is nesting and had a nightly activity of only 1.5 hours after 54 days of nesting. This guy often has a very low activity every second night so I put a trail camera near his nest to check him and it confirmed that he stays at home every second night which is very dedicated parenting.

June 2018

Usual area at freezing works. He is nesting and had a nightly activity of 6 hours after 7 days of nesting as he waits for the second egg before nesting hard out.

May 2018

Usual area at freezing works, activity down  a bit at 8 hours so may be starting to nest.

April 2018

Usual area at freezing works, activity down  a bit so may be starting to nest.

March 2018

Usual area at freezing works ruins at Reotahi, activity is dropping at 9 hours per night.

February 2018

Usual area at freezing works ruins at Reotahi, activity is 9.5 hours per

January 2018

Usual area at freezing works ruins, feeding up after nesting.

December 2017

The mercury switch in his transmitter failed so I was unable to monitor his nesting behaviour and had to wait until he had finished nesting before replacing his transmitter. His nest successfully hatched 1 chick (we have named him Harvey after the late Harvey Gadd who was a key Mt Aubrey Landcare member).  A trail camera got some good video of young Harvey before he left the nest. Even after nesting in dry conditions Whitu was a healthy 200g in weight.

November 2017

Re-nested near the Reotahi freezing works. The mercury switch in his transmitter that records his activity (the number of leg jiggles) is playing up so I won’t be able to tell when he hatches his eggs from his data signals. Hatch is due now so I will have to wait until he moves off and try and catch him for a transmitter change then- this will avoid disturbing his nest.

October 2017

Re-nested near the Reotahi freezing works. Hatch due late November.

September 2017

As suspected he has got straight back into nesting. He is near the Reotahi freezing works. Hatch due late November.

August 2017

His nest by the big slip west of the freezing works at Reotahi failed. The nest was below a rock face that was much wetter than usual and the nest ended up very wet leading to the eggs rotting (see pic). He is already showing signs of re-nesting so hopefully it is in a drier spot this time.

Winter nest fails

July 2017

By the big slip west of the freezing works at Reotahi. He was 36 days into his nest on 28/7/17 and has a nightly activity of 2.5 hours.

June 2017

By the big slip west of the freezing works at Reotahi. He has started nesting – he had been nesting 5 days on 29/6/17 and has a nightly activity of 4 hours.

May 2017

Back at the freezing works Reotahi – activity dropping down to 7 hours/night so may be nesting.

April 2017

Back at the freezing works Reotahi – activity dropping down to 9 hours/night.

March 2017

Has moved from the freezing works to the big slip near Little Munro Bay.

February 2017

In pampas by the freezing works at Reotahi. Frank Bates helped me catch with this guy recently so I could do his annual transmitter change, he was a healthy 2250g.

January 2017

At Reotahi above the freezing works. Just in the process of hatching chicks after 80 days of nesting.  He is in a long hollow puriri tree so it is unlikely that I will be able to ID chip them.

He was nesting in a long hollow puriri that I couldn’t see in. A trail camera showed him coming and going but no sign of any chicks. After 73 days he stopped nesting and a bad smell indicated a dead chick or eggs

December 2016

Renesting above the freezing works at Reotahi. Hatch due soon. His nest is deep in a puriri so it is unlikely that I will be able to ID chip his chicks but between dad’s activity data and a trail cam on the nest we should see the result.


November 2016

Renesting above the freezing works at Reotahi. 3 hrs activity at day 34, hatch due early January.

October 2016

He has finished his nest at Reotahi and is back up to 9 hours activity.

September 2016

At Reotahi above the freezing works. Whitu’s mate, Marama, had chosen a nest with a view on a rocky point.  When his transmitter data stream showed that he had hatched his chicks and his activity was rising Frank Bates gave me a hand to check the nest. Unfortunately the older chick had got an infected belly button and died but the second chick was healthy. He was named “Leo” by Frank (Frank is a hard working member of Manaia LC, Reotahi LC and also helps out at Bream Head).

w-16.09-Whitu's chick Leo and FrankFrank Bates with Whitu’s chick Leo

 

August 2016

At Reotahi above the freezing works. He is nesting, with very low activity indicating he has probably hatched his first egg.

 

July 2016

At Reotahi above the freezing works. He is nesting, with 2 hours activity at day 52 of incubation. Hatch is due mid –August.

 

June 2016

At Reotahi above the freezing works. He has started nesting and hatch is due mid-August.

 

May 2016
meet Whitu

May 2016

At Reotahi above the freezing works. Activity is dropping- now 8.5 hours per night. Probably starting to nest.

 

 

April 2016

At Reotahi above the freezing works. High activity. 10 hours per night.

w-Whitu's front yardWhitu’s front yard

March 2016

At Reotahi above the freezing works. High activity.

February 2016

At Reotahi above the freezing works. Successfully finished his second nest of the season with 2 chicks that were DNA sampled and ID chipped. Whitu got a new transmitter too.

January 2016

At Reotahi above the freezing works. He has successfully hatched 2 chicks from his second nest – that’s 4 chicks for him so far this season. The chicks were ID chipped, DNA samples taken and left with dad, who also has a new transmitter.  After over 180 days (yes that’s 6 months!!) of nesting he is down to only 1700g in weight. He can now get on with some serious feeding to gain condition

Here is one of his new chicks (ID chip) 00075B4C9F)  feeding in the rain

December 2015

At Reotahi above the freezing works. Renesting, with 2 hours nightly activity after 47 days, looking good for mid-January hatch.

September 2015

At Reotahi above the freezing works. This guy has proved the move over the ridge from the carpark area was worth it for him with the successful hatching of 2 chicks after a quiet year last season. Both chicks were ID chipped and sample for DNA. Dad was 1960g and we got some great video of him and the chicks coming and going from the nest burrow with a movement sensitive trail camera. Heather is going to edit the video for the website.

2015-Whitu's Chick-Sept

August 2015

At Reotahi above the freezing works – Nesting with 3 hours activity per night. The data stream from his transmitter shows that he hatched his first chick on September 1 . I am now waiting for his activity to increase to see if he has hatched a second chick before checking his nest.

July 2015

At Reotahi above the freezing works – Nesting with 3.5 hours activity per night. Hatch is due late August.

June 2015

At Reotahi above the freezing works – 9.5 hours activity per night, which is slightly down so hopefully he is starting to nest.

May 2015

At Reotahi above the freezing works – 10 hours activity per night.

April 2015

At Reotahi above the freezing works – 9.5 hours activity per night.

February 2015

Seems to have settled on the face above the freezing works – 10 hours activity per night.

January 2015

Has moved over the ridge from his usual territory. He is now on the slope above the freezing works at Reotahi.  Adam (from BHCT) and I caught up with Whitu and changed his transmitter – he was in very good condition and weighed 2500g, this is because he has had a relaxed summer not nesting! We found Whitu with a new wild adult female – this is probably the reason that he has moved over the ridge! She weighed 2400g, had a bill of 144.3mm and now has a transponder (ID chip) under her skin.  She has been named Marama by Clarie and Graham of Reotahi.

November 2014

Usual area at Reotahi. He has finally started his 1st nest, 4.5 hours activity, hatch due late January.

October 2014

Still hasn’t nested and I keep loosing his transmitter signal only for him to reappear a few days later. This may be because of the big rock fall at Reotahi – he may have lost his mate and be looking for her or his signal could be being blocked by the rocks if he has found a way to tunnel in to the rock pile.

September 2014

Usual area at Reotahi. Still hasn’t nested – hope he didn’t loose his mate to the big rock slide in his territory.

[Polaroid][/polaroid] 

July 2014

Usual area – Reotahi. Activity 11 hrs.

June 2014

In the pampas at Reotahi. He has an activity of 10 hours per night.

May 2014

In the pampas at Reotahi. I caught up with him for his 6 monthly band change – he was a very healthy 2390g and has an activity of 11.5 hours per night,

April 2014

His nest at Reotahi failed and his activity has climbed backup to normal non nesting behaviour.

February 2014

He has re-nested in usual area at Reotahi. Hatch is due early April.

January 2014

Usual area- high activity.

December 2013

Hatched a chick on 21 November.  After monitoring his signal regularly finally after 21 days his activity started to rise and I could go and check him without upsetting his nesting on the second egg. His 1st chick had left by then but his second had recently hatched – he was ID chipped, DNA sampled and named “Gypsy” by locals . I did Whitu’s annual transmitter change at the same time.

w-Whitus chick-GypsyWhitu’s chick

November 2013

Still nesting in his usual area Reotahi, his transmitter signal showed that he hatched his first chick after 70 days on 21 November. I will check his activity regualy and when it rises go in and hopefully DNA and ID any chicks.

October 2013

Usual area Reotahi, he has re-nesting as suspected – nest will be approx 65 days on December 9.

September 2013

Usual area Reotahi, activity dropping – possibly renesting after his first nest failed.

August 2013

Usual area Reotahi, Nest failed after 45 days.

July 2013

Usual area Reotahi, Now nesting – will reach 65 days on 29 August.

June 2013

Usual area Reotahi –activity of 10 hours activity early in month, activity could have dropped since.

May 2013

Usual area Reotahi –activity of 11 hours per night.

April 2013

Usual area Reotahi –activity of 11.5 hours per night.

March 2013

Usual area Reotahi – activity of 11 hours per night. Kane helped me catch him in the pampas for his 6 monthly check (see photo) – 2005g and reasonable condition. A stray dog was reported near Whitu this month but he managed to stay safe.

February 2013

Usual area Reotahi – his activity is high after finishing his nest last month.

January 2013

1st chick hatched news year’s eve – 2nd egg was a dud.

w-2012-Whitu's Chick &Kane McElra

2009-2013

From 2009 to 2013 Whitu and his mate had 7 successful nests producing 10 chicks to add to the local kiwi population. In 2013 there was a major rock and landslide in the area that Whitu and his mate lived in above the Reotahi carpark. The slip must have killed Whitu’s mate (an untransmitted wild female) because he did not nest for all of 2014 and moved out of the area in early 2015.

January 2009

Usual area above Reotahi carpark – fitted with new “smart” transmitter called a “Chick Timer” that measures his nightly activity so that we can see if he is nesting or not. He was in excellent condition and 2400g in weight.

 

June 2008

Whitu moved to the western side of Mt Aubry above the Reotahi carpark. He was a fat 2600g and in excellent condition.

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