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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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September 12th, 2023

2023 – August Report

Know Your Dog Workshop

Thanks to Dog expert Lesley Baigent from Kiwi Coast for running a very successful workshop for dog owners to help them understand their dog better.  Thanks to James Bellamy from the WHLF committee for organising the workshop and a big thank you to the 30 dog owners who came and learnt plenty about their dog’s world view.

The take home message was understanding that smell is your dog’s key focus and this means dogs and smelly kiwi don’t mix.  Keep your dog contained or tied up when not exercising and walk them on a lead.

Take the Lead

Wandering dogs

Unfortunately we have had a spate of wandering dogs recently with one removed from the area and 3 others returned to their owners with advice on how to keep them contained.

After last month’s 3 dogs killed kiwi another kiwi was found dead on a driveway at Kauri Mt and has been sent to Massey to check the cause of death. There have also been many other dog killed kiwi throughout Northland in the past few months – this seems to be due to an increase in dog owners that are not looking after their dogs properly.

What your monitored kiwi have been up to:

Kiwi chicks have started hatching with Chookie at Owhiwa Road being the first of our monitored dad’s to hatch a chick for the season.

Feta Mama

Whangarei Heads/Parua Bay  Radio monitored kiwi:

  • Chookie– His data stream showed a hatch around day 80 in early August and we kept monitoring his data stream waiting for his second egg to hatch before getting too close to the nest.  After 94 days Chookie had a sudden increase in activity (up to 7 hours) and moved off the nest. The first chick had moved on too.  There was evidence of the successful first hatch with the egg membrane still in the nest and kiwi chick poo nearby, so another kiwi for the growing Owhiwa Road population! The second egg had died and gone rotten, explaining why Chookie had tried so hard to hatch it and then suddenly given up. It is not uncommon for eggs to get bacterial infections and die in the wet conditions that we have had. Chookie’s activity is now up to 9 hours a night as he feeds up after nesting.  His history shows that he is likely to nest again this season.
  • Teina – Even though we found him with a female last month he is yet to show any sign of nesting (10 hours activity). He is in his usual area of pampas and pines.
  • Beach Girl – She has been hanging on the Martins’ and Halses’ boundary and her activity dropped right down to 100 minutes for a few days before rebounding – possibly due to egg laying?
  • Hope – Did her transmitter change. She was 2150g, 128.1mm bill length compared with 1875g, 118.2mm on release last November.  She has remained in the pampas and young pines at the Northern end of Martins’ block, Owhiwa road
  • Om– She is now north of the Halses’ block in an area at the end of Owhiwa Road. I caught up with her for her band change. She was deep in an old pine harvest trash pile. Weight  2800g, 146.0mm bill length and good condition so if she is Murdoch’s mate she has recovered well from egg laying. 13 hours of activity.
  • Fish– He has moved over 2km north and is now well north of the end of Ross Road in a big bush block (now dog free). I went in to check him with the landowner and found him in a very deep burrow – he is either a very good digger (there was not much in the way of fresh diggings though) or it is possibly a historic kiwi burrow. He is due his band change so will visit again shortly.  11 hours of activity.
  • Murdoch  – 46 days nesting on 16/8/23 at the end of Owhiwa Road. He is showing good low nesting activity of 2 hours nightly. Om is definitely nearby so they may be a pair.
  • Maia – After returning from Ross Road and spending time near the Martins’ hut she has headed up the valley towards Ross road again. We did her six monthly check and band change: 120.9mm, 1950g compared with 113.5mm and 1825g when released in March. Both Feta Mama and Humphries were close by. 12.5 hours  of activity.
  • Feta mama– He has proved to be a she (we had our suspicions when we released her – her bill has now grown to over 120mm confirming her as a she). She had headed west to hang on the road edge of Owhiwa road, which was a concern, then she dropped off the radar for a week or so before turning up well to the east towards Taraunui Road- in the pampas and young pines near the Martins’ NE boundary.  She is hanging there with Maia and Humphries. We did her check and band change;  122.7mm, 2200g and Excellent condition  cf 109.3mm, 1800g and Mod condition when released in March so she has had a good winter.  12.5 hours of activity.
  • Humphries – This young fella has headed east in tandem with Maia and Feta mama has also joined them. Hope he can cope with two girls.  Activity 11.5 hours.
  • Te Motu Manu Hine – Still no signal since 23/6/23 despite wide searches by both Kerry and I. Have asked Carl of PNLC to have a listen out for her.
  • Wally – Usual area; pine block at the end of Campbell Road. He had been nesting 59 days in on 24/8/23. Good low 130mins nesting activity. Hatch due any day now.
  • Pakipaki – I have made 7 visits this month to try to remove her transmitter but she has been deep in a burrow, deep in elliagnas, in big areas of dense pampas or too near to the nesting Waewae to get at.  Activity of 11.5 hours.
  • Waewae – Nesting in pampas in the McLeod Bay Horse paddock. 41 days nesting on 28/8/23   4 hours activity.



Rarewarewa/Purua ONE dads: Still no big burst of nesting activity yet which is not what I was expecting;

  • Moondust – Finally caught up with him in a burrow, in the paddock, east of the woolshed. 2450g, Good condition  and 11 hours activity
  • Buddha – In the paddock between McGraths’ quarry and reserve. Supposedly nesting 9 days on 9/8/23 but his activity is too high at 12 hours.
  • Macio – No signal this month.
  • Otiria – In the South side of Purua reserve, still very high 13 hours nightly activity!!.
  • Mitch   – South Purua reserve, 12.5 hours activity
  • Kopaki – Still no signal.
  • 64 – On the steep face below the start of the western purua reserve track. Nesting 40 days in on 9/8/23, Nightly activity of 3 hours.  There was a freshly broken egg (no development) 10 m below his nest entrance last month so he must still be  on a second egg.
  • Tahi– At the back of Alisons’ farm, east of Purua reserve.  12 hours of activity.
  • Rua – At the back of Alisons’. His data stream shows that his second nesting attempt has failed and that his activity has risen to 6.5 hours so not sure what this guy is up to!
  • Macky – No signal this month
  • Derek – South Purua reserve. Nesting 15 days on 9/8/23. 6 hours activity

Trapping/ toxin pulses

August catches: Stoats 2, Weasels 5, Cats 3, Rats 83, Hedgehogs 0, Possums 4.

Preparation for the Kiwi saver pulse for Manaia is going well. Other kiwi saver pulses and brodifacoum pulses in the area will also be cleaning out trapshy stoats and protecting the hatching chicks in those areas.


Cheers Todd

Todd Hamilton

Backyard Kiwi Project Manager

Whangarei Heads Landcare Forum


021 1145 385


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