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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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October 5th, 2018

2018 – September update

Two more Backyard Kiwi videos stories online.

Two more BYK video releases

Two more BYK videos have been released. Thank you to Parua Bay School for hosting a “Movie Night” in conjunction with Whangarei Heads School for the release of the BYK video “Its My Egg”.  The Enviro groups at both our schools are a fantastic bunch of students and staff and did a great job of running the night. Also a very big thanks for the fund raising efforts of Parua Bay school with cake stalls to raise $663 to support their kiwi!!

The other video “Kiwi Monitoring” premiered at the Butter Factory pub in town.- thanks to Heather, Rolf and the Butter Factory for organizing it. The video features our mate Darwin at Manaia Excavators quarry.  Both videos can be viewed on the Backyard Kiwi YouTube Channel Take a look. Heather and her team are working hard on more videos to come too.

Backyard Kiwi Predator Control Programme :

Catches for September in the predator traps:

Stoats 1, Weasels 2, Cats 1, Rats 58, Hedgehogs 5 and 15 possums. The new season stoats will be with their mothers now, growing up getting ready to disperse in a month or so – so I have been freshening the traps up in preparation.

Controlled 1080 pulse in bait stations

Martin and his team have finished pulsing 1080 in the bait stations on Manaia.  The importance of this pulse to clean up any trap shy stoats cannot be over emphasized as well as dealing to the rats and possums there.

Kiwi Event for Kiwi Link area and Tutukaka Landcare release
“Kiwi Link” involves 10 groups doing kiwi recovery work covering the landscape between the Whangarei Heads and Tutukaka kiwi strong holds. On Sunday September 9 the Whareora Landcare group hosted a meet a kiwi event for 235 locals as part of the Kiwi Link.  These kiwi came from our combined ONE work and were transferred from Limestone Island and released in the Pataua North LC area after the public event.  It was great to see the enthusiasm with which these kiwi were greeted.  Both the kiwi “Donald” and “Ariki” have settled in well. See the Kiwi Coast website for more details.  Likewise Tutukaka Landcare are hosting a kiwi release on Wednesday 24 October at 6pm.

Dog killed kiwi

On my last trapping round at Kauri Mt I noticed dog print in the mud so I followed it… and found a big old female kiwi dead in the gorse. She didn’t have an ID chip so was a wild hatched bird and judging by her legs was probably several decades old (see pic) – bloody shame that a breeding kiwi like this was lost to an uncontrolled dog. The dog may have been a stray or more likely had been with a fisherman walking into the coast there. Please remind any visitors to control their dogs or ring dog control 4381637.

kiwi killed by a dog

Kopu Darwin’s Spring chick

What your radio tracked Backyard Kiwi have been up to:
The chicks are hatching…

  • Darwin – At Lamb road, nesting in a hollow puriri tree in the bush just south of the quarry. He has hatched one chick – see pic- Parua Bay School have named it “Kopu”.
  • Lambert – Nesting in pampas by main track on Taurikura ridge. He has also hatched a chick that Whangarei Heads School will name.
  • Whitu – 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.
  • EB – In pampas at Kerr road. Activity still high at 11.5 hours .
  • Pakipaki – I couldn’t get a signal for her for a few weeks in her usual area at McLeods Bay but then searched wider and found her beside the Whangarei Heads School – down in Dallas’s territory. She is now 3 years old and must be out looking for a boyfriend.

2018 Released Kiwi

These guys are all settled for the time being:

  • Ross  – He has spent the last 4 months in the area just inland from Solomon’s point, opposite the boat ramp – activity still high – 13 hours per night.
  • Harikoa – In Ross’s pines at Taraunui rd.
  • Maia – I caught up with this young girl in the bush at Ross’s place between Taraunui road and Lamb road.  She was 1650g and 99.8mm bill (compared with 1300g and 93.1mm back in June) so she has settled in nicely and is growing well. Her radio transmitter was giving a squelchy signal and I should have replaced it with another because it has since failed to transmit.  The transmitter will fall off shortly as it is only attached with a temporary band.
  • Mokopuna  and Wally – After the big news of these two hooking up last month the news is even better now- they have started nesting in the bush at the end of Campbell road. Wally was nesting 8 days on 19/9/18. Even though he is 12 years old this could well be his first nest so it may take him a while to get the hang of it.  He was in super fat condition prior to nesting so will be on a crash diet now.

ONE program (funded by Kiwis for Kiwi):


Chicks coming thick and fast.

  • The Acrobat – Usual area in Lovell’s fenced bush. Has finally started nesting- 16 days in on 12/9/18.
  • Waimarie – Nesting in paddock south of bush. His activity was high at 9.5 hours on day 19 of nesting on 20/7/18 and his data stream showed day 50 on 21/9/18 which doesn’t add up – so looks like something strange happened at the start of nest and he has re-nested.
  • Ngutu Roa – Nesting in usual area SW reserve. Hatched two chicks- LC1806 transferred to Limestone  2/10/18, LC1807 txd and left.
  • Sancho– Nest in paddock by quarry failed – 2 rotten eggs.
  • CFU – Nesting in usual area in paddock south of reserve. Hatched first chick LC1804 transferred 2/10/18.
  • The Boxer – Usual area W end of reserve. Hatched 2 chicks LC1801 – transferred 12/9/18, LC1805 transferred 2/10/18. As planned we removed the Boxer’s transmitter, he was a skinny 1850g after a big nesting effort.  It was great to have Pete Graham there to wish him well as he had been involved in the many years of monitoring him. The Boxer will continue to breed but we won’t be taking any more chicks from him
  • Kimposter – nesting NE ridge hatched two chicks –LC1808 transferred 2/10/18, felt second chick just fresh so left for next visit.
  • Mila  – still high activity.
  • Nick – Has finished nesting in  bush just in from hives. 1st egg was rotten and he had rolled it out of nest on 12/9/18. Found second chick hatched but dead 2/10/18- it was quite rotten but had no obvious sign of predation. It may have died shortly after hatching.
  • Matarakau – Nesting south of airstrip, 3.5 hours activity at day 83 on 2/10/18.
  • Ngaro – still high activity.

Other happenings:

Waipu Kiwis hosted a trapper training day that Ngaire from Kiwi Coast, Steve from NRC and I took a few Sundays back.  The wider Brynderwyns area is seeing a big increase in Landcare groups predator trapping as kiwi released in the Marunui project area spread out.  The 44 folks at the workshop were enthusiastic to expand the trapping in the area with support from the NRC and Kiwi Coast based along the lines on what we have done at the Heads. .


  • Todd Hamilton
  • Backyard Kiwi Project Manager
  • Whangarei Heads Landcare Forum
  • M 021 1145 385
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