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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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February 18th, 2019

4 new kiwi

Teina, Malaika, Awhi and Pakari  were released into Parua Bay on Sunday evening  17th February 2019.

Malaika with kiwi handler Adam

Pakari and Backyard Kiwi illustrator Heather Hunt

Awhi With kiwi handler Emma 

Teina  with Todd

People started arriving at 4 pm and continued to pour onto the Parua Bay Community Centre rugby field – we estimate over 490 people attended this year’s release.

At 5.30pm Todd started his talk with a bit of history about the Backyard Kiwi project explaining how we have come from a remnant population of 80 kiwi in 2000 to over 900 in 2019. Todd gave us a colourful insight into kiwi physiology and psychology and explained why kiwi are so vulnerable to our pet dogs.

Martin Hunt (Manaia Landcare) talked about community pest and predator control projects and encouraged locals to come and talk to him if they want to get involved  in the action on the ground or become a Backyard Kiwi Proud Supporter and contribute to the project financially –  individuals or businesses  – this can be a matter of a few dollars a month or a full Proud Supporter package.

Todd Hamilton

Martin Hunt

Then three of the birds were carefully taken out of their boxes and kiwi handlers walked the birds through the crowd so people could meet Teina, Mallaika and Awhi – Pakari came out later at the burrow site.

Everyone who came to this kiwi release got to see a kiwi up close, people were great waiting patiently for the birds and respecting the need for quiet as the kiwi handlers walked the kiwi around 100’s of people.

After the ‘walk-about’ the crowd spilt into 3 groups walking onto adjoining farmland and bush where  the kiwi were then released at 3 different burrow sites.

If you would like to follow the fortunes of these birds go to the Backyard Kiwi website. Initially we will update their progress in the Monthly Report,  long term we will continue to track some of these new birds  and record their stories in the Local Kiwi Profiles section

  • Malaika –1700 g16 months old male? – Named by Backyard Kiwi Proud Supporter Fay Clayton – Malaika means Angel – Good Spirit – gift from God.
  • Pakari – 1400g 16months Male? -Named by Backyard Kiwi illustrator and Proud Supporter Heather Hunt.
  • Awhi – 2300g Female 4 years Island bred.
  • Teina – 1950g male 3.5 years – Named by Backyard Kiwi Proud Supporter – Lionel Sands, after Pio Terei ‘s son.

Thanks to:

The Ross Family for allowing access to the burrow sites.

Kiwi handlers and the rest of the Backyard Kiwi crew and support team.

Wendy Bown for the stunning photographs.



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