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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 9th, 2024

2023-December Report

I hope that everyone has had an enjoyable and safe Christmas

Kiwi Release Planned for Sunday Feb 25 at Parua Bay

As part of the Kiwi Coast Engagement program we are planning to transfer kiwi from the FOMLI managed Matakohe/Limestone Island to Parua Bay next month.

Please pencil the date in

These kiwi releases and the subsequent monitoring of the kiwi via radio transmitters are a cornerstone of our engaging local communities with their kiwi and lead to good dog control – and far better kiwi population recovery in areas fortunate to have kiwi monitored this way.  People love to see and hear about their kiwi and go home to tie their dog up.

They are a huge team effort, but well worth it so thanks to all those involved.

A good Christmas for Kiwi
The good rain and mainly good dog control by locals and visitors meant a mainly drama free xmas period for our kiwi.  The ongoing dollops of rain have kept feeding and roosting conditions (plenty of vegetation) good for kiwi so they haven’t been wandering around in the heat of the day.  Thanks to everyone that politely (or more directly!) reminded visitors to keep their dogs on a lead.   If you see an uncontrolled dog please call Dog Control on 09 430 4200 and emphasis that you are in a kiwi area.

 More kiwi chicks hatch

Chookie’s nest

Chookie’s chick

Chookie hatched another couple of kiwi chicks before xmas.  This was his second successful nest for the season –Murdoch is also nesting.  The holiday down pours will make life easier with damp conditions and plenty of bugs and grubs for the new chicks.

Two Kiwi Deaths
It’s not all good news – an adult male kiwi was hit and killed by a car on Dec 9th.

Road kill

He had no ID chip so was locally hatched and grown.  He had a brood patch on his belly showing that he had recently been nesting so hopefully his eggs had already hatched.

The other dead kiwi was found on a back lawn at Reotahi – there were no obvious signs of death and she has been sent away for testing.  She did have an ID chip to identify her – she was “LC” who had been named by Parua Bay School back in 2007 when she was released at the Heads.  The students named her “LC” – short for Landcare. LC originally came as a chick from Purua in 2006 and spent a year on Limestone Island before being released at the Heads on the Odys’ farm at the northern end of Manaia. She was not radio transmitted but the ID chip (transponder) meant that she could be identified 17 years later.  Kiwi have an average breeding life of 50 years so she could have had plenty more life in her – We will update you when we get the test results.


Even with the recent Kiwi saver toxin pulses we maintain our predator traps, particular in the areas away from the pulses.

December catches: Stoats 2, Weasels 2, Cats 2, Rats 52, Hedgehogs 2, Possums 8.

What your radio monitored kiwi have been up to:

Monitored Kiwi moving through “Kiwi Link”

3 monitored kiwi (Fetu Mama, Te Motu Manu Hine and Fish) are still well north of Parua Bay  – Fish in Pataua North and the other two in the Whareora area.

Whangarei Heads/Parua Bay  Radio monitored kiwi:  

Chookie after nesting

  • Chookie –  97 days into his second nest on 18/12/23 his activity was increasing so we had a careful check and found him with his second chick (see pics).  The first egg had hatched at least 17 days earlier according to the data stream and had left the nest. The 2nd chick was named “Hika”, ID chipped and DNA sampled. Dad was 2150g and good condition considering that he has spent 6 months nesting this season. Also did his annual transmitter change. The nest is in the bush area below the road on Martins’ southern boundary on Owhiwa Road
  • Teina – In his usual area of pampas and pines at the north end of Martins’ pine block.  9 hours activity.
  • Beach Girl – She has been hanging on the Martins’ and Halses’ blocks boundary between Owhiwa and Ross Roads. Her activity is 9 hours nightly.
  • Hope – She has remained in the pampas and young pines at the Northern end of Martins’ block, 9 hours activity.
  • Fish – PNLC monitoring
  • Murdoch  – He has remained at the end of Owhiwa road. As suspected his activity was too high and his nesting attempt of November failed, but he has rapidly got on to having another go; 14 days in on 14/12/23 and a better 4 hour nesting activity.
  • Om – She is still hanging close to Murdoch’s nest area at the end of Owhiwa road. 9 hours of nightly activity.
  • Maia – She continues to cruise around the Martins’ pine block.   9 hours nightly activity.
  • Humphries – This young fella is still hanging in the pines and pampas at the Martins’ pine block at the start of Owhiwa Road, 9 hours nightly activity.
    ·        Fetu Mama – She in the NRC pines south west of the Maungatika Scienic Reserve- seems settled. Nightly activity of 9 hours.
  • Te Motu Manu Hine – She has remained in the NRC pine block south of Mt Tiger Road.  9 hours activity.
  • Wally – Down in the wetland by the estuary at the end of Campbell Road.  9 hours activity.
  • Waewae – He is back in the Horse paddock pampas in McLeod Bay. 8.5 hours activity.
  • Tanker – This is the guy who survived meeting a milk tanker on the road back in November.  His datastream shows good nightly activity of 9 hours and the signal shows that he is covering ground checking out the pine trees and pampas between Owhiwa and Taraunui roads.

Rarewarewa/Purua ONE dads: Still only 1 chick transferred to Limestone for the season from these dads.

  • Moondust  – No signal this month
  • Buddha – In the creek bank, in the paddock north of McGraths’ quarry.  9 hours activity.
  • Macio  – North of Kauri Tree Ridge in south Purua.  10.5 hour activity.
  • Otiria –  In burrow at bottom of new slip on the South side of Purua reserve.  10 hours nightly activity. Did his band change and 6 month health check; 1900g and Mod condition.
  •         Mitch  – South Purua reserve, I had got data for a 19 hour night so checked that he wasn’t tangled up and shaking his leg to give that data – he was in a big mess of supplejack but moved off when I got close so presume that he is ok.
  • 64 – On the steep slope SW side of reserve. 11 hours activity.
  • Tahi – Up near the peak of Purua.  9.5 hours of activity.
  • Rua – 3rd nesting attempt failed around 60 days; one rotten undeveloped egg and one rotten developed egg. He had moved off to the paddock north of the nest. Did his band change – 2150g and good condition.
  • Macky –  No signal this month.
  • Derek  – On the “Stump” Ridge South-East Purua reserve. 9 hours activity.


Cheers Todd

Todd Hamilton

Backyard Kiwi Project Manager

Whangarei Heads Landcare Forum

M 021 1145 385




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