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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 9th, 2021

2021 -October Report

Christmas is coming

December the 10th from 5pm at McLeod Bay Hall is the combined Whangarei Heads conservation groups xmas do. These are always great fun and a good way to catch up with other Landcare groups. See attached invite.

Backyard Kiwi Predator Control Program:

Trap catches for October: 2 stoats, 1 weasel, 0 cats, 73 rats, 15 hedgehogs, 7 possums.

It is a crucial time of year for stoat control with plenty of vulnerable kiwi chicks hatching. The Kiwisaver (1080) pulse on Manaia will have cleaned out trap shy stoats there otherwise we are trapping away as best we can in other areas and bracing for the dispersal of young stoats in the next few months.

Northland Kiwi Taxon Plan

This is the strategic plan for the combined effort for kiwi recovery in Northland produced back in 2010 see Kiwi Coast The Northland Kiwi Forum Working Group is progressing the review and update of this plan.  If you would like input into that process please let me know.

What your kiwi have been up to:

Road Kill

Last Friday night was bookended by kiwi being hit by cars on the Whangarei Heads Road – right beside one of our “Kiwi Crossing” signs.

At 9pm Friday night a female kiwi was hit but remarkably survived so was taken to Whangarei Native Bird Recovery Centre by locals. Robert Webb and his team are caring for the injured kiwi and are hopeful about her possible recovery.

At 6am Saturday morning another kiwi was hit nearby: it was a sub-adult female with no ID chip, 1800g, 119mm bill – this kiwi also survived the hit but had multiple injuries including a broken bill and broken legs and died on the way to the vet for euthanasing.

Thank you to those locals who stop and take the time to either take the kiwi to the WNBRC or let me know. As always with these deaths the silver lining is that the size and age of the kiwi hit is a good indication of the effectiveness of our stoat control program.

Road kill

Pepi’s Nest

 Whangarei Heads Radio monitored kiwi:   

  • Chookie – He is doing a much better job of nesting this time round and has settled into a good low activity: 27/10/21 33 days nesting and 3.5 hours nightly activity.  The nest site is on an old slip in a patch of bush at Martins’ forestry block, Owhiwa Road. I will carefully try to locate the nest more accurately in a week or so.
  • Malaika – She has stayed reasonably close to Chookie so they may be a pair– in pampas 250m up the valley from his nest area. Her activity is back to averaging only 6 hours.
  • Valentine – She is still moving around the Martins’ pine block, Owhiwa road and has been off the radar for a week at a time but so far I have managed to catch up with her again each time.   10.5 hours nightly activity.
  • Ross – I caught up with him this week in his usual area in pampas up from Pepi road.  10.5 hours nightly activity – no sign of nesting and now we know why; he is cuddled up with another adult male kiwi, which is very unusual in the kiwi world. They were both fat and happy. Ross is 2650g and his bill is 99mm. “Pepi” has no ID chip so is a wild hatched kiwi and is 2300g and 104mm bill length. Adult females have bills over 120mm so he/she could be a growing female but seems too fat for that, I took a feather sample so the DNA from that will help with sexing. He/she now has ID chip and transmitter  so we will see if this pair sticks together
  • Teina – Still doesn’t seem to be interested in breeding. 10 hours nightly average. Usual area at N end of the Martins’ block.
  • Beach Girl – After spending time last month in the recently logged area on Ross road she has returned to the pampas and young pines at the north end of Matins’ block. 10 hours nightly activity.
  • Wally – He has managed to thoroughly confuse his radio transmitter program with his immediate re-nesting.  His data stream is in double beep mode and showing 130 days nesting on 27/10/21 when it is more likely 30 days nesting. Activity is a good steady low 3 hours.
  • Pakipaki – In the pampas and gorse in the McLeod Bay Horse Paddock, 10 hrs activity.


Nanakia’s nest

Nanakia’s 2nd chick

Chicks are hatching but a couple were stoated before transfer. The Doc trapping of the area was halted with the Lockdown which was bad timing. The trappers are back trapping and working hard to spruce the traps up now, hopefully the next chicks will fare better.

  • Nick – Nested in his usual area in Lovells’ Bush. After his 1st egg was rotten and pushed out of the nest the 2nd egg hatched after 95 days and was transferred to Limestone on 19/10/21- LC 2104.  Did dad’s transmitter band, he was 2200g, Mod condition.
  • Sancho – Nesting NE end of reserve.  Hatched his first chick after 69 days but it was stoated a couple of days later (decapitate rotten body outside the nest 29/10/21). Sancho is still holding on the second egg with 3 hours nightly activity.
  • Ngutu roa – Nesting under a big old kohekohe tree (old doc tag #479) west of the big slip.  29/10/21 he was 79 days in and no hatch indication. Any chicks may be tricky to get from this deep nest burrow.
  • Moondust  – Nested behind the Irvine Road woolshed (see pic – the nest is in the middle). He hatched a single chick after 76 days nesting. LC 2102 was transferred at 10 days old on 13/10/21 to WNBRC as his belly button was infected. This quickly healed and he was transferred to Limestone on 16/10/21. Dad was 2050g, M.
  • Gorgeous – His second nesting attempt was looking ok on 29/10/21 – 26 days nesting and 4 hours activity but it has been at about this stage that he has given up the last 3 nests. The wet conditions may not be helping.
  • Nanakia – Nested in Lovells’ bush next to the logged pine area. LC 2101 hatched and transferred to Limestone at 10 days, 2nd chick (LC 2103) hatched after 85 days and was transmitted and left.  10 days later LC 2103’s decapitated body was 100m away in a large pile of pine slash

Hope to see you at the Xmas do. Keep safe and encourage vaccination


Cheers Todd

Todd Hamilton

Backyard Kiwi Project Manager
Whangarei Heads Landcare Forum

M 021 1145 385


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