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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 13th, 2022

22 August Report

Kiwi Chicks Hatching!

Adult Kiwi Population Estimate of 1130 

The news of our kiwi population being estimated at 1130 from the data collected during the official kiwi counting period has had plenty of coverage locally and wider.  Over 11,000 folks were reached by a Backyard Kiwi facebook post about it. Our community can be proud of the results of the stoat control efforts helping chick survival and even more importantly our good dog control avoiding adult kiwi deaths – with spring here we are getting more visitors with dogs, please remind them to use a lead.

The kiwi dads are getting near the end of their first round of nesting for the season. It was fitting that Father’s Day weekend marked some of the first chicks hatching; Wally after 80 days nesting at the end of Campbell Road and Chookie after 73 days at Owhiwa Road.  The coded data streams from transmitted kiwi show their activity (measured by transmitter movement via a mercury switch) so we can tell when a chick hatches without having to see the nest. Most dads incubate 2 eggs so once the activity shows the second hatch we can have a careful look and hopefully ID chip the new chicks.

There will be hundreds of other un-transmitted kiwi dads hatching kiwi chicks at the moment too. So good stoat control is crucial at this time of the year; traps have been spruced up and the lure changed over to the far more attractive salted rabbit after using chicken eggs for the winter. The Parua Bay 4 Square have seen their eggs sales plummet!. Even more effective at stoat control, especially of the older, smarter, tougher trap shy stoats is a controlled pulse of secondary poisoning- this is where a toxin is used to control stoats via rats. There are at least 6 controlled secondary toxin pulses in bait stations underway in the wider Heads area this year. Two of these pulses were with Kiwi Saver (1080) and the rest brodifacoum.

Upcoming Northland Kiwi Hui: Sunday 2nd October 2022 10:00 am – 3:00 pm

Kiwi Coast and Save the Kiwi Trust are working together to hold a Northland Kiwi Hui. This event will be dedicated to kiwi, bringing you all the latest news, insights, info and research results so we can all keep up to date and work successfully towards the goal of flourishing wild Northland kiwi. We’ll also provide a great lunch and ensure there is plenty of time for networking as it’s been a while since we all got together in person.

Register at the Kiwi Coast website.  https:/

What your monitored kiwi are up to:
 Whangarei Heads Radio monitored kiwi Hatching underway

  • Chookie – Nesting in an old slip at Martins’ block Owhiwa Road. His data stream shows that the first chick has hatched after 73 days nesting.  I will monitor Chookie’s activity for any second hatch before carefully trying to ID chip any chicks when his nesting is finishing up.
  • Malaika – She has moved back a bit closer to Chookie’s nest but is still a few 100m away. I caught up with her in a pampas bush in the young pines for her six monthly transmitter band change. She was a skinny 1750g (she has been trending down in weight from a peak of 2200g in March 2021- We are getting advice from experts on her weight trends and the possible causes). Her activity is around 8 hours nightly.
  • Valentine – She has remained settled for the moment, back in the area of pampas and young pines that she was in before going walkabout. There was plenty of pine thinning activity in the area prior to her movement, she may have just moved away for that?  Her activity is around 7 hours nightly.
  • Teina – Has moved back into the young pines at the north end of Martins’ block. Still no sign of him nesting; 9 hours nightly average. Beach Girl is roughly 500m away.
  • Beach Girl – She is getting closer to Teina after moving out of the native bush at Halses’ block on Ross Road to the young pines and pampas south of there. 11.5 hours average activity.
  • Pepi – Still spending time down the valley by Pepi Road towards the harbour, 11 hours nightly activity.
  • Wally – Nesting in pampas/gums at the end of Campbell road. His data stream shows the first egg hatched at 80 days nesting. I will monitor his data stream regularly for any 2nd hatch or the end of nesting.
  • Pakipaki – In the pampas in the paddock below the Manaia Club. 11 hours activity.


Malaika 2o22



Rarewarewa/Purua ONE Dads These are the dads that we monitor to move their kiwi chicks onto Matakohe/Limestone Island to grow up for future release in managed kiwi areas.

The extremely wet winter has probably led to the first two monitored nests failing but most of the other dads are into nesting now, and Nick hatched the first chick for transfer into the safe hands of FOMLI Ranger Jo yesterday 7/9/22 – see pic.

  • Nick – Nesting in the Lovells’ Bush, 80 days on 7/9/22, Has hatched his first chick – LC2201 transferred to Limestone.
  • Sancho – Nesting on the slope north of Lovells’ quarry.  33 days in on 28/8/22 with 4 hours activity.
  • Ngutu Roa – Nesting west of the big slip in the reserve, 59 days in on 28/8/22, 3 hours activity.
  • Nanakia – Nesting in Lovells’ bush/ pine slash area. 51 days in 28/8/22 Average activity 3.5 hours
  • Moondust  – In the reserve behind the Irvine Road woolshed. Still not nesting with 11.5 hours activity – The last 2 seasons he has been a good breeder and settled down to nesting in early in August so not quite sure what he is up to this year.
  • Gorgeous- He was nesting in his usual area in the paddock on Hawkins’ hill. The nest failed after approximately 48 days around 18/8/22. As noted last month his nesting area is in an area of slips and also his nest burrows in the volcanic soil in the paddock often get quiet wet so no surprise the nest failed. Didn’t have the exact nest site located to confirm.
  • Buddha – His nest also failed. He made it to approximately 30 days around 25/7/22.  I couldn’t find his nest in the patch of kieikie that he was in last month (20/7/22) so he may have already moved off the nest then as his activity was already suspiciously high at 7 hours. He has moved back down into a gut in the paddock between the reserve and McGraths’ quarry, 7 hours activity.
  • Macio  – Has started nesting – looks like he is in or near an old log on Kauri Tree ridge, south side of the Purua reserve.  28 days in on 29/8/22, 3.5 hours activity.
  • Mitch-  South side of Purua reserve, 12 hours activity.
  • Otiria – south side of Purua reserve, in gut up from Johnny’s old area. 12 hours activity. This is the kiwi that Lesley and I were unsure of its sex- 1900g, 109.2mm, and P back on 26/4/22.  He is now 1900g, 109.0mm and P so looking like a boy which is a good result for potential future chicks. He was very close to where Yagi had previously found him so seems well settled- see pic above.
  • Kopaki – Up in the crater on south side of Purua reserve- not far from where Yagi found him. 12.5 hours activity. This is the scruffy little male that was only 1525g, 98.0mm and P on 26/4/22 with a very large tick load. He is now 1625, 98.5mm and P.  Still lots of ticks – treated.

Trapping/ toxin pulses

August catches at the Heads: Stoats 1, Weasels 7, Cats 1, Rats 81, Hedgehogs 1, Possums 10.  More importantly the controlled toxins pulses will be cleaning up the traps hy stoats.


Cheers Todd

Todd Hamilton

Backyard Kiwi Project Manager

Whangarei Heads Landcare Forum

M 021 1145 385


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