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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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Local kiwi profiles

A small sample of the kiwi at Whangarei Heads are monitored by radio to track their location and get information about growth, survival and breeding rates. Using Todd Hamilton’s historical notes, we’ve put together an online archive which tells the story of each of our monitored birds. Reading through the profiles, you’ll get to know each bird’s personality, and have a rare insight into the day to day lives of kiwi. You can also see our monitored birds and their history on a Google map.


Wally hatched in December 2006 at the McGrath’s farm at Purua. In the same nest was also Wally’s brother Lambert with their dad George.
Wally is named after Wally Lambert a farmer from many years ago who looked after the native bush on his farm where George now lives.
Wally was transferred to Limestone Island at 10 days old weighing only 260g.
Wheres Wally?
Wally has an extraordinary back story, he was monitored from 2006-2009, until he dropped his transmitter – miraculously 9 years – later Todd found him in a burrow with Mokopuna a young female released at Parua Bay in March 2018.

To find out about Wally’s early history – scroll right down to the bottom of this page and start at PART ONE, PART TWO  picks up 9 years later as we record his life from 2018 into the future.

View Wally’s full profile


This girl hatched in “CFU’s” nest at the Lovells’ farm at Purua in October 2015 and was transferred to Limestone Island at a weight of 280g and bill length of 45.7mm.

When we were spot lighting for candidates for release in early 2017 we caught up with her at Limestone Island. She had grown to 1680g and his bill was 101.2mm. Pakipaki was named by the Tuato’o family. She was part of our 2017 February kiwi release at McLeod Bay that was attended by over 400 locals and guests

View Pakipaki’s full profile


Teina hatched in Ray’s nest, on Lovell’s farm back in 2015. We transferred him to Limestone Island to grow up before bringing him to the Heads. He was only 265g when we moved him and it wasn’t until over 3 years later we caught up with him again. He had grown to be a healthy young adult male of 1950g and had a bill of 104.5mm (adult males have bills less than 120mm). Teina was named by BYK proud Supporter Lionel Sands in memory of Teina Terei.


View Teina’s full profile


Malaika – young female “Angel”

Malaika hatched in a nest, in a paddock, on Lovell’s farm out at Purua in the spring of 2017. She was 260g in weight at 10 days old when we transferred her to Limestone Island to grow up ready for a public release. Early in 2019 we caught up with her again and she was 1700g and looking like a young female kiwi. Kiwi are the slowest growing bird in the world and take 4-5 years to reach adulthood so she still had plenty of growing to do. Malaika means “Angel” in Swahili and was named by proud BYK supporter Fay Clayton.

View Malaika’s full profile


Ross introduced us to Pepi, in November 2021 Todd found Ross cuddled up in a pampas bush with another kiwi and caught it.  The kiwi did not have an ID chip so was a wild hatched and grown kiwi. The kiwi was in excellent condition, weighed 2300g and had a bill length of 104mm. Todd inserted an ID chip and put a transmitter on this new kiwi.  Was it a boy or a girl???

Adult females have bills over 120mm and boys usually well less. The kiwi could be an adult male (our suspicion) or a still growing female. We named it Pepi and kept an eye on things.  It is extremely rare for two male adults to be together so this all caused a bit of a stir in the kiwi world. 6 months later it was time for Pepi’s transmitter band change and check – and he had thinned down to 2000g over the summer but more importantly his bill was still 104mm – confirming that he was a boy! !


View Pepi’s full profile