Archives For Breeding

For the first time ever, you can watch kākāpō nesting activity streaming live from remote Whenua Hou/Codfish Island.

Our photo of the week shows foster mother Esperance caring for a chick but, if you head over to the Kākāpō Recovery website, you can see streaming real time footage of the pair.

Kakapo foster mother Esperance caring for a chick on remote Whenua Hou / Codfish Island.

Nestcam footage will stream 24 hours a day, however the activity will occur during the New Zealand night time, because kākāpō are nocturnal parrots.

A big shout out to:

Telecom NZ who supplied most of the technology:

“Because so much of the recovery programme takes place in the wild, on remote and protected islands, kākāpō nesting has to-date been limited to a very small audience. We’re delighted to have the connectivity in this remote location, and to contribute the technology needed to enable this precious event to be shared live with the world,” Andrew Pirie, Telecom General Manager Corporate Relations.

New Zealand Aluminium Smelters Ltd (NZAS) as major sponsor of Kākāpō Recovery NZAS has contributed significant financial support, while its employees assist with operational support.

“Our staff at NZAS have loved working in partnership with the Recovery team during the past 24 years, helping out on the island with maintenance, supplementary feedout and nest minding. It’s great that the team can now share part of that special kākāpō experience with the rest of New Zealand,” NZAS general manager Gretta Stephens.

Forest and Bird who administer the trust account that external donations and sponsorship money are made to. This ensures supporters can be sure all financial contributions to the programme go directly to Kākāpō Recovery.

The first kākāpō eggs in three years have been discovered by rangers on Codfish Island/Whenua Hou. The two nests that have been found so far belong to Lisa, an experienced kākāpō mum, and Tumeke who has bred before but had infertile eggs.

Both Tumeke and Lisa have laid two eggs each – but it will be another week before it’s known whether their eggs are fertile.

Today’s photo of the week is of Tumeke being viewed on her nest through a video monitor.

Tumeke the kakapo on her nest. Photo supplied by Kakapo Recovery.

Kākāpō breeding and nesting on Whenua Hou is triggered by the amount of rimu fruit available on the island, as it is the food that the mother kākāpō relies on to feed her chicks. There has been no breeding during the past two summers because of poor rimu crops.

The Kākāpō Recovery team is preparing for the possibility there could be up to 15 kākāpō nests this season.

By Jeff Hall, Biodiversity Ranger, Mana Island.

The takahē population on Mana Island have had a few new pairings formed over recent months, as a result of the sort of behaviour that could only be likened to an episode of “Days of our Lives” or “The Young and the Restless”.

Fence around takahē home on Mana Island.

Takahē home on Mana Island

While it is not always a good idea to anthropomorphise a wild animals behaviour, the antics of one of our recent immigrants does seem to warrant it.

McCaw (named when she hatched soon after the All Blacks won the 2011 Rugby World Cup) came to Mana Island from Maud Island in the Marlborough Sounds for an “arranged marriage” with one of our young lads.

McCaw spent three weeks in a large enclosure with her new suitor, Nohorua. They appeared to be getting along, but as it turned out she had other plans. The male from another pair that lived beside the enclosure had caught her eye. Within a couple of days of release McCaw left Nohorua, and used her youthful energy and good looks to split up the long established pairing of Kat and Santi.

Two takahē on Mana Island.

McCaw and Santi the takahē are nesting

But like all good day time television dramas these heart breaking acts had a happy outcome for some; McCaw and Santi have just started nesting. Kat – after licking her wounds and shaking her tail feathers has landed herself a younger man in Hori. But what of the jilted Nohorua you ask? His quest to find the perfect match continues.

Our takahē are well into another breeding season, with nine pairs nesting. The first nests of the season have started to hatch so hopefully we get a reasonable run of weather to help the chicks establish.

Three children coming face to face with a takahē on Mana Island.

Meeting a takahē

We had planned to do another egg transfer to Southland this year, but the birds had other plans. Our birds were a bit tardy in getting going while the southern “foster” pairs started earlier. The requirement for them to start around the same time was lost on the takahē, but at least they’re nesting!


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