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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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January 12th, 2021

2020 December Report

Upcoming Kiwi Release – Sunday Feb 14 at Parua Bay, Community Centre – 5.30pm 

Please let your friends, family and neighbours know that our annual kiwi release is coming up. See attached invite. It is a fantastic chance for folks to see wild kiwi up close and personal, find out about what is happening locally and what they can do to help their kiwi. It is a huge team effort so thanks in advance to all those working hard to make it happen – I will be sending out a detailed runsheet of tasks to those involved shortly.

Xmas kiwi, visitors dogs and kiwi “traps”

Hope that everyone enjoyed their Xmas.  It has been pleasing that on the whole visitors have been good at controlling their dogs so a big thanks to them and to those of you who have been politely (or more sternly if required) pointing out the need for good dog control at our place.

With the dry weather over Xmas (great to have some rain today!) young kiwi have been exploring new areas looking for a feed. There have been multiple reports for kiwi feeding in gardens at night and two managed to get themselves stuck. A young female ended up in a live capture possum trap in a garden at McLeod Bay – the landowners let me know and I quietly moved her to a quieter spot on northern Manaia (see pic).  She was named “Ngawini” by the locals.   The second was a young male who ended up trapped in an old concrete fishpond at the Nook. The pond was empty and he got in but couldn’t get out and would have died in the hot sun if the landowners hadn’t seen him. I moved him to a cool damp spot and after he had cooled down he headed off happily exploring his new backyard (see pic). He has been named “Boaz”.

It is heartening to see these young kiwi get to 1300 in size thanks to our good stoat and dog control.  They are now big enough to fend off stoats (but not dogs!). Please check your backyard and paddocks for any “kiwi traps” – troughs, ponds, holes in the ground etc that kiwi may be able to get into but not out off.  Cover them or put a staircase of rocks, bricks etc in the “trap” so the kiwi can get themselves out.  Low set troughs on lifestyle blocks are real kiwi killers.

Backyard Kiwi Predator Control Program :

The Manaia Kiwi Saver (1080) bait station pulse should have cleaned out any trap shy stoats giving us excellent kiwi chick survival rates this year. The stoat trapping network has only picked up a few dispersing juvenile stoats from areas that didn’t get a Kiwi Saver pulse. Catches for December: 3 stoats, 0 weasels, 0 cat, 44 rats, 8 hedgehogs, 5 possums.


What your radio tracked Backyard Kiwi have been up to:


Pakipaki habitat

The big news is that Teina has started to nest!  He is up Owhiwa road and this is the furthest north into the Kiwi Link area that we have had a monitored kiwi nest. Not to be out done Wally at the end of Campbell road hatched the first chick of his second nest on New Year’s eve.

Whangarei Heads.

  • Ross – He is still high up in the valley at the end of Pepi road. No sign of nesting with 8.5 hours nightly activity.
  • Teina – He has started nesting!!!!!  He is in the Owhiwa road pine block, 19 days nesting on 14/12/20, activity is a good low 4 hours for this stage of the nest.
  • Malaika – She has remained in the Owhiwa Road pine block, 9.5 hours activity.
  • Beach Girl – Has moved to the NE of Kerry Martin’s Owhiwa pine block. 9 hours nightly activity.
  • Wally – After hatching 2 chicks in his first nest he has hatched the first chick of his second nest after 72 days nesting on 31/12/20.
  • Harikoa – In her usual area of wetland/pines at the NE end of Campbell Road. 10.5 hours activity.
  • Pakipaki –She was in rank kikuya beside Johnstone’s drive so I took the opportunity to do her transmitter change – far easier for both her and me compared to her normal pampas haunt in the Horse paddock. She was a healthy 2500g (see

Rarewarewa/Purua- ONE Dads

9 chicks transferred to Limestone to date.

  • Nick– Usual area in Lovells’ bush, As suspected he has re-nested: 26 days in on 21/12/20, 4 hours activity.
  • Moeahu –NE end of reserve. Still no sign of nesting. 9 hours activity.
  • Sancho – Successfully hatched 2 chicks: LC 2009 transferred 21/12/20 and LC 2010 transferred to Limestone. 2/1/21. He has worked hard and is down to 1750g in weight, even so I found him in the nest with a female kiwi – this is very unusual and if they are trying for another nest Sancho is in for a tough stint.
  • Kimposter– Activity 8.5 hours, usual area above quarry.
  • Ngutu roa – Usual area SW reserve, 9 hours activity.
  • Ngaro – Hatched first chick- LC 2008 transferred 2/12/20. Second egg was a dud. Dad is in reasonable condition after nesting and was 2100g.
  • Moondust – Usual area behind the woolshed, 9 hours activity.
  • Gorgeous – His transmitter’s data stream showed that his second nest had failed after about 20 days but he has now started his 3rdnest for the season in a shallow burrow in the paddock. He was 14 days nesting on 02/01/21and 5 hours activity – hope things go better for him this time.

Remember Sunday Feb 14.

Cheers Todd

Todd Hamilton
Backyard Kiwi Project Manager

Whangarei Heads Landcare Forum

021 1145 385




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