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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, 2022

21 – December Report

 Take the Lead!!! Thanks for the good dog control over summer

Uncontrolled dogs are the number one threat to adult kiwi. Locals have worked hard to protect their kiwi by having good control of their dogs – tied up or inside at night, walked on a lead and not allowed to wander.  It has been heartening to see the majority of visitors have followed our lead and kept their dogs well controlled.   THANK YOU. If you see an uncontrolled dog please call Dog Control on 09 4304200 and emphasise that you are in a kiwi area.  Also please remind folks that the local public bush tracks are no dog zones even on a lead. Most local Heads beaches are good for walking dogs before 9am and after 5pm- a good time for walking dogs on these hot days. Ocean Beach is open all day to dogs.

It was also good to hear Backyard Kiwi mentioned on Radio NZ “critter of the week” before the holidays advising visitors to control their dogs or to leave them at home, have a listen:

There was one large adult female found dead in a garden over xmas.  She was long dead (see pic) and had no transponder (ID chip) so was wild hatched and grown.  She was too decomposed to determine the cause of death.

Backyard Kiwi Predator Control Program:

Trap catches for December: 7 stoats, 1 weasel, 1 cat, 46 rats, 14 hedgehogs, 6 possums.

All 7 stoats were juveniles that will be dispersing from the mothers’ spring dens. 5 were in Kauri Mt so there is at least one trap shy stoat mum in there – we will have to work on getting her with a controlled toxin pulse this year.

What your kiwi have been up to:

Kiwi dads have worked hard this season with the wetter winter and spring many have been able to nest twice (that’s 6 months nest sitting 20-24 hours a day!).  This should mean a bumper year for chicks.

Whangarei Heads Radio monitored kiwi:-

  • Chookie – Nested for 90 plus days in the hollow base of a puriri tree, in a patch of bush at Martins’ forestry block, Owhiwa Road. His data stream showed a hatch at only 65 days nesting and a second chick hatched 2 weeks later. I couldn’t reach the chicks to ID chip them but got photos of them which helped Owhiwa Road Landcare and Kiwi Link celebrate the first recorded hatch in that area for many years. Here’s the she is and here’s a link to the story in the Advocate:
  • Wally– In a small production forestry block at the end of Campbell road. Nested in a pampas bush in a gum stand there. He successfully hatched a single chick.  This nest had immediate followed his earlier successful nest in September. ID chipped the chick 29/12/21, 250g, 45.5mm, (see pic).



  • Malaika– She has still stayed reasonably close to Chookie – 250m up the valley from his nest area. Her activity is only 6 hours.
  • Valentine – She is still settled in a valley on the NE area of the Martins’ pine block between Owhiwa and Ross Roads.   9 hours nightly activity.
  • Ross– Has been knocking around his usual area west of Pepi Road.  8 hours nightly activity. The new male Pepi has remained in a similar area to Ross and with the same nightly activity. If I get a chance I will try and catch up with Pepi and see if his/her bill has grown from the 104 mm of 10 weeks ago- this is to confirm his sex as girls’ bills grow to over 120mm.
  • Teina – Still doesn’t seem to be interested in breeding. 10.5 hours nightly average.  Usual area at the northern end of the Martins’ block.
  • Beach Girl – In the pampas and young pines at the north end of Matins’ block. 9 hours nightly activity.
  • Pakipaki – In the pampas and gorse in the McLeod Bay Horse Paddock, 9.5 hrs activity.

Rarewarewa/Purua (These are the monitored dads that we get the chicks from for engagement releases via the Limestone Island creche)

  • Nick – In his usual area in Lovells’ Bush. 8.5 hours nightly activity.
  • Sancho– He has re-nested north of the quarry. Nesting 57 days on 5/1/22. Good indication activity by Sancho with only 2.5 hours nightly activity off the nest .
  • Ngutu roa – In his usual area SW reserve, 9 hours activity.
  • Moondust­– He hasn’t re-nested, usual area behind woolshed  – 9 hours nightly activity 10/12/21.
  • Gorgeous- Has successfully hatched two chicks after a run of failed nests. LC2107 transferred to Limestone on 20/12/21. Planning to transfer 2nd chick – LC2108 this week.
  • Nanakia– In Lovells’ bush. 8 hours activity.

BYK kiwi release planned for Sunday Feb 13 at Parua Bay

There is plenty of uncertainty about this going ahead. It is unlikely to be the big public event we usually have. At this stage we are tentatively planning on a maximum of 100 vaccinated humans (invites only) so probably only 1 or 2 kiwi if it goes ahead. If in doubt we will delay it until later in the year as the main purpose of the event is community engagement and we also certainly don’t want to be spreading Covid!

Cheers Todd

Todd Hamilton

Backyard Kiwi Project Manager

Whangarei Heads Landcare Forum

M 021 1145 385



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