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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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November 8th, 2020

October Report

Kiwi Chicks hatching  

Great to be having a burst of rain – just in time for the dads to feed up after nesting and it will mean good feeding conditions for the newly hatched chicks too.  After a slow start to the season chicks are hatching in good numbers now.  Monitored dads at the Heads; Whitu and Wally have hatched 1 and 2 chicks respectively so there should be plenty of others out there too. The dads we monitor at Purua to get chicks for the kiwi release program have hatched 5 chicks with 4 being transferred to Limestone Island to date (Funded by Kiwis for kiwi and Kiwi Coast).

The main threat to young kiwi chicks are stoats so we have worked hard to spruce the predator traps up for this time of year.  Even more effective at controlling stoats is a 1080 (Kiwi Saver) pulse.  Thanks to Martin Hunt and his team carrying out a Kiwi Saver pulse in the bait station network on Manaia the survival rate of kiwi chicks at the Heads should be high this spring.

Thanks to Kiwi Coast and the NRC
Thanks to Ngaire Sullivan of Kiwi Coast for a well organised and run Northland Pest Workshop on the weekend. Thanks to the NRC for supporting this event and directly supporting many of Northland’s Landcare groups, including Backyard Kiwi.  We recently had our six monthly Whangarei Heads High Value Area (WHHVA) meeting to monitor the work of BYK and WH Weed Action that is funded by the NRC targeted rate for pest management – the work is on track and on budget.

Upcoming events

Kiwis for kiwi – Northland Kiwi Hui – 6-8/11/20

See Kiwi Coast website for details:

Remember to keep the evening of the 4/12/20 free for our annual BBQ Conservation Christmas Get together

Backyard Kiwi Release 14 Feb 2021 

Proposed Possum Eradication Work at the Whangarei Heads

Planning for the proposed possum eradication project at the Whangarei Heads is moving forward. Su Sinclair has been appointed by the NRC to manage the project and has spent time with some of the local community groups learning about the pest control work and achievements already happening at the Heads.  For more details of the proposal see:

Backyard Kiwi Predator Control Program :

The Manaia Kiwi Saver pulse along with the targeted brodifacoum toxin pulses on some private blocks at the Heads should have cleaned out the trap shy stoats. The stoat trapping network is also still up and running in preparation for the dispersal of young stoats in the next month or so. Catches for October: 1 stoat, 1 weasel, 1 cat, 40 rats, 9 hedgehogs, 10 possums.

Dead Kiwi

The body of a wild adult male kiwi was found beside the road at Rarangi Heights. It had small bruised areas and has been sent for autopsy at Massey University to see if it was a car or a dog that killed it.


What your radio tracked Backyard Kiwi have been up to:

Whangarei Heads.

  • Ross– No sign of nesting from Ross at end of Pepi road.  10 hours nightly activity.
  • Hancock – Still no signal since 4/8/20 even with wide and repeated searches.
  • Teina– He is settled in the Owhiwa Road pine block but not looking like nesting yet.  9.5 hours nightly activity.
  • Malaika–  She has remained in the Owhiwa Road pine block after returning there from her major walk last month. 10.5 hours activity.
  • Beach Girl – Has moved to the ridge west of her usual area, maybe she can hear Teina calling? 10 hours nightly activity.
  • Wally– He successfully hatched two chicks after 87 days nesting on 8/10/20 at the end of Campbell Road.  He had got down to a skinny 1800g but is a sucker for nice girl (Mokopuna – his mate) because he is nesting again already!!! 7 days in on 27/10/20.  He will really appreciate the recent rain increasing his feeding prospects in the 2 or 3 hours he gets for a quick fed each night.
  • Harikoa– In her usual area of wetland/pines at the NE end of Campbell Road. 10.5 hours activity.
  • Pakipaki– Usual area in pampas/pines in the McLeod Bay Horse Paddock. 9.5 hours.
  • Whitu– After nesting 98 days and 17 days after his transmitter data stream showed that he had hatched his first chick Frank and I checked the nest to find a very active chick and dead second egg. Dad had already moved on.

2020 Whitu’s Spring chick

2020 Kimposter’s Spring chick

Rarewarewa/Purua- ONE Dads

4 chicks transferred to date.

  • Kimposter – Took his time over it but eventually hatched two chicks – LC 2001 and LC 2003, both now transferred to Limestone. LC 2003 was new Limestone Ranger Jo Skyrme’s first chick to transfer. Welcome to the team Jo.  see pic of LC 2003.
  • Nick– Nested in his usual area in Lovell’s bush and hatched a single chick after 81 days. The chick LC 2002 was transferred to Limestone on 23/10/20.
  • Moeahu– Near the peak above the quarry. 10.5 hours activity. This guy seems more interested in the view up there than nesting.
  • Sancho – In his usual nesting area in the NE reserve. He had been nesting 13 days on 23/10/20 and down to 5 hours activity at this early stage of nesting.
  • Ngutu roa – Usual area SW reserve. Nesting 74 days 2/11/20, looks like he has hatched his first egg and is still working on the second, 2.5 hours activity.
  • Ngaro– Usual area above the airstrip, Nesting 41 days on 23/10/20, 4 hours activity.
  • Moondust– Nesting in paddock burrow behind the Irvine Road woolshed. After 83 days he had hatched two chicks – LC 2004 was old enough to transfer and LC 2005 was left until he is over 10 days old- see pic.
  • Gorgeous – He is on the south side of Hawkins’ Hill.
    His activity is down a bit so hopefully he is re-nesting after an earlier failed nest.

Cheers Todd

Todd Hamilton

Backyard Kiwi Project Manager

Whangarei Heads Landcare Forum


M 021 1145 385




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