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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, 2023

22-December Report

It has been a Good Xmas for Kiwi.

Thanks to good dog control with folks Taking the Lead!

Uncontrolled dogs are the number one threat to adult kiwi and the holiday period is often a danger period for kiwi due to visitor’s dogs, increased road traffic and the usually drier conditions leading to kiwi travelling further and longer looking for food. But this summer break has been great for kiwi with the huge majority of people controlling their dogs on a lead and the previously wet conditions meaning kiwi have plenty of worms and bugs to feed on without wandering too far.  It has already been an excellent year for breeding with plenty of kiwi dads nesting twice and this holiday spoiling rain will mean more kiwi tucker and possibly even 3 nests this season for some hard working kiwi pairs.

My phone is usually busy with wandering dogs, road kill, day time kiwi sightings and thirsty kiwi getting stuck in troughs etc but this year I’m pleased to say there have been no known kiwi deaths over the holiday period.

 What your monitored kiwi are up to: 

Parua Bay-Whangarei Heads Radio monitored kiwi:

Todd at Chookies nest

Chookie & 2 chicks

  • Chookie – Owhiwa Road. This hardworking dad has hatched another 2 chicks from his 2nd nest of the season. A careful nest check on New Year’s Day after 95 days nesting showed a 22 day old chick and a recently hatched chick (2-3 days old). They were too deep in the hollow puriri tree nest for me to reach to DNA sample and ID chip – see photos. These chicks will benefit greatly from the recent controlled Kiwi Saver/1080 bait station pulse on the property. This pulse will have cleaned out any trap-shy stoats there.  We continue to stoat trap there for the reinvading juveniles.
  • Malaika – She has remained over 500m north of her usual area near Chookie. Her activity is down to 6.5 hours nightly.
  • Valentine- She is still settled back in the area of pampas and young pines that she was in before going walk about.
  • Teina – He is in the young pines at the north end of Martins’ block Owhiwa Road. He continues to have a moderately low activity of 6.5 hours but is still cruising around so doesn’t seem to be starting to nest.
  • Beach Girl – Back at the Halses’ Ross Road property after a Xmas visit to Teina’s territory. 8.5 hours average activity.
  • Pepi – After visiting the bush opposite the Parua Bay boat ramp he has been cruising around the Pepi road area making radio monitoring tricky for me. I did get to catch up with him for his annual transmitter change when he was in a pampas bush on the side of a driveway. He was a FAT 2600g This guy definitely needs to find a mate (other than his boyfriend Ross) and shed some weight by nesting.
  • Wally – Has finished his second nest in the Wright’s pine block at the end of Campbell Road.  His radio data stream showed that he hatched a chick after 75 days nesting. I left physically checking him until his activity increased to avoid disturbing him.  16 days later his activity suddenly went up. When I checked the nest the first chick and dad had moved on and the second egg was cold. The egg was well developed but dead. So sorry no photo of the chick but he is still out there and the toxin pulse done by Campbell Road Landcare will be greatly increasing his chances of survival by cleaning out some of the trap-shy stoats.  These current warm, wet conditions will be great for a young chick to get a good start on life too.
  • Pakipaki – In Johnstone’s paddock McLeod Bay. 9 hours activity.
  • Recently released Hope- After her visit to Parua Bay School and release she has settled in well in at the pine block on Owhwia Road. Her activity is a steady 9 hours nightly.
  • Fish – He has shown that kiwi butts are tough after surviving his car strike back in November. His activity and travel have steadily increased to 9.5 hours nightly. I gave him a physical check and he had put on 200g (which is good growth for a young kiwi) and his bill length is up from 81.4mm to 84.5mm so he is loving the conditions in the pampas away from traffic. (see pic).



Rarewarewa/Purua ONE dads. No chicks transferred to Matakohe/Limestone this month:

Gorgeous- 16/12/22 Found 2 days dead in the paddock, 100m west of his nest. His transmitter data stream showed that he had still been nesting but his activity had risen slightly to 5.5hrs.  There were no signs of injuries so it may be natural causes.  He has been sent to Massey University for autopsy. Thanks to Tamra from DoC for dealing with this. I salvaged the cold eggs from his nest and took them to the WNBRC for Robert Webb to attempt to incubate

  • Nick – Has re-nested already in Lovell’s bush block. He was 34 days in on 16/12/22 with 4.5 hours activity.
  • Sancho – He is in the paddock north of Lovell’s quarry. 10 hours activity.
  • Ngutu Roa – Usual area in the SW of the reserve, he has started his 2nd nest. 20 days in on 16/12/22 with 4.5 hours activity.
  • Nanakia –  The autopsy results from Massey showed no bite injuries to his bones. We were looking for possible evidence of a ferret kill.
  • Moondust – Behind Lovell’s woolshed, 10 hours activity.
  • Buddha – In the paddock between McGraths’ quarry and the Purua reserve. 9 hours activity.
  • Macio  – No signal this month.
  • Mitch – South side of Purua reserve, 12 hours activity.
  • Otiria – South side of Purua reserve, Nightly activity of 10 hours.
  • Kopaki – South side of Purua. Activity of 11.5 hours.

Trapping/ toxin pulses

December catches: Stoats 2, Weasels 0, Cats 0, Rats 58, Hedgehogs 3, Possums 6.

I only managed 2 juvenile stoats in the traps this month when usually in December there is a spike as they disperse, so I hope that the good adult stoat catches in the spring along with the reasonable secondary poisoning coverage is giving the chicks good protection. The extremely wet conditions for this time of year should be giving great chick growth rates and limiting the time they are out in daylight.

Cheers Todd

Todd Hamilton
Backyard Kiwi Project Manager
Whangarei Heads Landcare Forum

M 021 1145 385


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