Here on Maud Island in the Marlborough Sounds we’re very excited and a little bemused at finding what could be the world’s first takapo eggs this morning.
Sirocco the incorrigible and amorous kakapo has already earned himself a reputation for attempting to mate outside his species but it seems this time he has outdone himself.
Just over a week ago, on his 14th birthday, Sirocco’s feelings for his friend Haggis the takahē became public when he ruminated on his Facebook page “She’s cute… but she likes figs and I like apples…could anything ever happen between us? Does she even like me?”
Now, at the start of April, we have the answer!
The two eggs, found in a nest hidden under long grass, are being closely monitored.
So far Haggis is proving to be a great mum although, unlike male takahē, who normally share responsibility for the raising of their young, she has discovered that all is not so smooth in cross-species relationships, with Sirocco proving to be a very wings-off kind of dad.
In hindsight, they make a pretty good pairing though – both are big, heavy, flightless birds at the mercy of introduced mammalian predators.
Pest free islands are their refuge. And it seems, like humans, these birds come together in times of trial.
Both kakapo and takahē eggs have around a 30 day incubation period so, if all goes well, we can expect to see some takapo chicks in the next three weeks.