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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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Annual kiwi call count

We now have over 1100 kiwi in our backyard

The wet autumn/early winter made for a good start to the kiwi breeding season with plenty of calling. The same wet and windy weather made counting those kiwi tricky at times, busy lives and viruses complicated matters further so thank you to our dedicated team of kiwi counters for fitting this important work in. The results show that good stoat control through quality trapping and Kiwi Saver (1080 ) pulses, is giving good kiwi chick survival and above all else it shows responsible dog control by the vast majority of our community.

Overall the counting gave an approximate kiwi population of 1130 compared with 1090 last season and 80 back in 2001. 

Thank you all for all the hard work braving the cold, listening hard and doing the paperwork.  Thanks also to those of you that did your own data entry and to Fay Evans for all the extra data entry that she does. Without your efforts we would not know what was happening with our kiwi population.


During the Annual Kiwi Call Count, kiwi calls are recorded and collated giving us useful data on the local kiwi population. Every year, hundreds of volunteers throughout New Zealand brave the chilly nights of autumn, sit in the dark, and listen for kiwi calls. They must listen at these ‘stations’ for 2 hours each night, for a total of four nights during the annual kiwi call count. This usually occurs during May or June, depending on when the dark phase of the moon takes place at the peak of the kiwi mating season.

Listening stations are assigned and are revisited every year, in order to document differences in the number of calls that are heard from year to year.

Summary of this year’s listening for each station giving M and F calls, and the actual number of M and F kiwi estimated at each site by using the directional shee
The following table shows how numbers have steadily increased over the past 20 years of monitoring
WHLF kiwi call count 2002 to 2022 summary

If you’ve got good hearing and a bit of patience and don’t mind the cold – this could be just the job for you!

Contact us at for details.