By Megan Martin, Partnerships Ranger, Wellington
She’s a beautiful, happy bird and is a real star down there—always drawing a crowd.
Kawa is also very fat. She loves sweetcorn but the staff have to watch her diet because all that sugary starch isn’t good for this chick’s waistline.
Although Kawa wasn’t a particularly successful breeder, her genes were already over-represented in the takahē population, so she was paired up with an infertile male, Tumbles.
Each year, Kawa and Tumbles produce infertile eggs which are replaced with fertile ones because they are such awesome foster parents.
At the moment Kawa and Tumbles are also trialling a new type of harness. No, not so they can be taken for walks, but to test how comfortable a new style of radio transmitter harness might be for the wild takahē roaming ‘round the Murchison Mountains.
When the harness was fitted to Kawa the rangers had difficulty finding her keel, or breastbone. Usually this would stick out, but in Kawa’s case there is a little extra padding, so a considerably smaller harness than the one Kawa wears will have to be used on the wild birds!
From Kapiti Island girl to foster mother and harness model in Te Anau – we’re proud of you, Kawa!