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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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April 5th, 2024

2024-March Report


In Search of Boomers – Bring Back Bittern
Tuesday April 28  @ 7pm Whangarei Heads School
There are Bittern in many spots in the Whangarei Heads/Parua Bay area. WHLF are having an information evening with Bittern experts presenting so that we can learn more about these cryptic birds and how to look after them – all welcome.

Bittern -Heather Hunt

Bittern -Heather Hunt

WHLF AGM –late May – date to be advertised

This year the plan is to have a Sunday afternoon field trip and meeting at the Hunts’ farm to look at wetland rejuvenation and transitional forestry.  More details to come.

Tutukaka Landcare and Te Whanau a Rangiwhakaahu Marae Kiwi Release 

Sunday April 14 @ 4pm  – We have 3 kiwi on Limestone transmitted and ready to transfer. Thanks to FOMLI’s Bevan and Courtney for looking after them. (see pic) Release details at Kiwi Coast

Kiwi Count Training – early May

Thanks to those that have put their hand up to join our hard working kiwi counting team at the Heads – we have 19 sites to cover.  The official count starts on May 27 so we will be organising a training session for an evening in early May – will email details in the next few weeks.

March Events 

  1. Parua Bay School Visit –  I visited the junior school to talk about helping kiwi as part of the school’s local helpers learning program.  As always it was a pleasure to visit. It is very rewarding to see the enthusiasm that the kids have for learning about their kiwi and how to look after them.

Kohinui Landcare/Kiwi Link Pest Control Workshop

Ngaire, I and Zac ran a pest workshop hosted by the Bixleys at Te Rongo Road. Great to help the group sharpen their trapping skills and understanding of the use of toxins – should help lead to improved community pest control in the area.

  • Lovells’ Farm Discussion Group 

The Lovells are a crucial part of our kiwi release program with many kiwi coming from their Purua property over the past 20+ years. As part of their recent farm discussion group I presented on the kiwi work going on there. Great to show how farming and kiwi recovery can work so well together there.

  • Northland Regional Council HVA day 

High Value Ares (HVAs) are a highly effective partnership between the NRC and local community driven Landcare groups in some ecological important areas of Northland. WHLF was the prototype for them with a community supported targeted rate ($1/week) specifically for Kiwi recovery and Weed work within the Whangarei Heads area.  Kate from Weed Action and I gave a brief presentation on the success of the work.  The other HVAs are in Waipu, Kiwi Link (between the Heads and Tutukaka), Tutukaka, Mid-North –BOI and a new one on the West Coast. It was good to hear of the effective community driven work going on in all these areas. Thanks to Dai Morgan (NRC Biosecurity Partnerships Manager) for organising this day and to him and his team supporting all this work.

  • Kiwi Coast Strategy Group Meeting

The quarterly meeting of this hard working team of Northland kiwi recovery folks was as busy as usual. Kiwi Coast, led by Ngaire Sullivan, are already hugely effective in supporting kiwi recovery in Northland and are always looking at ways of doing this better.  Thanks Kiwi Coast!!

Backyard Kiwi monitored kiwi update for March 24
The very dry conditions have the kiwi on the move and I have been working hard to keep in touch with some of the monitored kiwi (and failed with 2). They have been moving about and heading for the damper areas in the bottom of valleys- which makes getting radio signals from them difficult to impossible at times.

What your kiwi have been up to:

Bevin with Limestone Island kiwi

Parua Bay Release – The three kiwi released in Feb are going well

  • Manaaki–  Headed up to the edge of Owhiwa Road before coming back down the valley and he has now wandered north to the middle of the Martins’ pine block. Nightly activity averaged 9 hours initially with some lower nights and is now averaging 11 hours.
  • Sandy– He has remained within a few 100m of his release area in the dog free pine block on Owhiwa Road.  10.5 hours nightly activity.
  • Kotahitanga– After initially staying close to his release spot he headed north to the cutover pines at the end of Ross Road before losing us.  Kerry and I had wide searches before Carl form PNLC picked his signal up way over at Pataua North – Thanks Carl – Kiwi Link in action!

 Whangarei Heads/Parua Bay  Radio monitored kiwi: 

  • Chookie –  Hanging in his wetland valley area north of Owhiwa Road. 11 hours activity.
  • Teina– He has stayed down the bottom of his valley at the north end of Martins’ pine block. Kerry and I did his band change – he is still super FAT! 3525g.  This guy really needs to get some nesting time for his own good!
  • Beach Girl – She has been hanging in the pampas at the top end of Teina’s valley  on the Martins’ and Halses’ blocks boundary between Owhiwa and Ross Roads. Her nightly activity is 10.5 hours.
  • Hope – This is the kiwi that was named by Parua Bay School in November 2022 when she visited there on the way to be released. She is now over 3 years old and is well settled in a safe place so we removed her transmitter. She was down in a wet area in her usual territory of pampas and pines at the North end of the Martins’ block. 2050g and bill of 134.2mm . The video of her cruising away got a good response on the BYK face book page. She still has a few years of growing to do and then should have 50 years of breeding ahead of her adding to the Kiwi Link kiwi population.


  • Murdoch – He has headed into the native bush in the valley SE of his recent nest (back towards Ross Road). He seems to be staying down deep near the creek and wetter areas. 10.5 hours activity. Om has headed that way too
  • Om – Like Murdoch she has come over the ridge and dropped down into the valley of native bush leading to Ross Road.  10 hours of nightly activity. Tried to catch up with her to remove her transmitter but found her deep in a hollow Puriri.
  • Maia– In the pampas just on the edge of the native bush west of Martins’ hut.   She is well settled in a safe place now and is over 3 years old so we removed her transmitter: 2050g and  bill of 130.2mm.  Like Hope she still has a few years of growing to do and then should have 50 years of breeding ahead of her adding to the Kiwi Link kiwi population. (see pic)
  • Humphries–  He has moved back to the NE side of the Martins’ block nearer Tauranui Road, 10 hours nightly activity.
  • Tanker – After moving up the ridge toward Owhiwa Road he came back down the valley to his usual area before wandering a further 500m north. 9.5 hours activity.
  • Wally– Down in the wetland by the estuary at the end of Campbell Road.  10 hours activity.
  • Waewae– Has stayed in the dense pampas in the McLeod Bay Horse paddock after his nest failed there. 9 hours activity.


Whareora Landcare area:

  • Fetu Mama – I have tried 4 times to catch up with her in the past 2 weeks – she is moving big distances and hiding in inaccessible spots – including a deep rock tomo (kiwi cave!- see pic of Kiwi Link trapper Clay at its entrance).  She has varied her hides from rocking peaks to deep valleys in Maungatika Scienic Reserve and NRC pines on Mt Tiger.  Nightly activity of 9.5 hours.
  • Te Motu Manu Hine – She was in the NRC pine block south of Mt Tiger Road early in the month but has also dropped off the radar. I have listened for her over a wide area with the help of Carl from PNLC and Joyce of NRC.
  • Fish – PNLC monitoring – He has dropped off the radar so I have been having a wide listen for Carl – no signal.

Purua Dads

Only checked the 3 signals that I could get from the North side – at the Lovell Farm’s discussion group.

Rarewarewa/Purua ONE Dads: no sign of late nests so the extremely poor breeding season continues here..

  • Tahi – Up near the peak of Purua.  11 hours of activity.
  • Rua– Up the back of Alisons’ farm – 10.5 hours activity.
  • Fletcher –  The new dad that Lesley found last month by the airstrip. 11 hours activity..

Trapping/ toxin pulses

March catches: Stoats 2, Weasels 8, Cats 1, Rats 75, Hedge Hogs 7, possums 7. Have changed over to eggs as lure.


Cheers Todd

Todd Hamilton

Backyard Kiwi Project Manager

Whangarei Heads Landcare Forum

M 021 1145 385


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