Archives For Chick

Today’s photo of the week is of one of the recent kākāpō to hatch on Whenua Hou/Codfish Island during the 2016 breeding season.

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Today’s photo of the week is an image of our #RoyalCam stars – A northern royal albatross dad and it’s 5-day-old chick at Pukekura/Taiaroa Head near Dunedin.

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I’ve just come back from spending a week on Codfish Island/Whenua Hou down by Stewart Island helping the Kākāpō Recovery Team with the important work they do to look after those mossy green parrots.

Looking down on Codfish Island.

Codfish Island/Whenua Hou

With only 126 kākāpō in the world every chick counts, so imagine how stoked I was to be able to witness the hatching of the first kākāpō chick for the 2014 breeding season. Hopefully there could be up to six new kākāpō chicks by the end of this season.

I arrived in the deep south to news that the egg that was due to hatch had been accidentally crushed by kākāpō mum-to-be Lisa. The kākāpō rangers had been monitoring the nest and were able to swiftly rescue the egg and, thanks to some quick thinking and some good old-fashioned ‘kiwi ingenuity’ from ranger Jo Ledington, the egg was carefully repaired with some glue and tape.

A crushed kakapo egg.

Lisa’s crushed egg

The condition of the bird inside the egg wasn’t known, but everyone crossed their fingers and hoped that this little chick would be a fighter.

The day I flew into Codfish Island the chick could be heard pipping inside the egg. This was a big relief to know that the chick was alive and almost ready to hatch.

After dinner kākāpō ‘surrogate mum’ Darryl Eason ran in to tell us that the chick was starting to hatch.

Kakapo egg in the incubator starting to hatch.

Hatch day for the egg in the incubator

Luckily the chick managed to find an exit from the egg avoiding the tape and hatching out the other side. It was a frail looking bundle of fluff, but it was in a good condition. It was a fantastic experience to be in the room as the newest kākāpō entered into the world.

Kakapo hatching from a mended egg.

Welcome to the world little one

It can take a while before the sex of the kākāpō can be determined, so for now this little was is known simply as ‘Lisa One’.

The wee chick will be returned to a nest when it is healthy and strong. To give the chick the best start in life it may not go back to its biological mother Lisa, instead the rangers monitor potential foster mothers to ensure that the best mum is given the chance to raise a chick.

Baby kakapo after hatching.

Cuteness

Kia kaha little kākāpō, it was great to experience your hatch day with you and I can’t wait for further updates from the kākāpō team.

Weighing just 173 grams, the smallest kiwi chick ever to have hatched at Rotorua’s Rainbow Springs Kiwi Encounter has now arrived and is doing well.

Myfie the tiny kiwi being held at Rainbow Springs.

Myfie the tiny kiwi

Of all species in the world, kiwis are traditionally famed for laying the largest egg in relation to their body size, however this tiny specimen was considerably smaller than the average 700 gram kiwi egg.

On arrival from South Whirinaki Forest in January, the egg’s weight was just 217.6 grams compared to its clutch companion, which weighed in at 442.1 grams.

Myfie and her siblings eggs side by side.

Myfie and her sibling, side by side

Kiwi Encounter Husbandry Manager, Claire Travers believed the tiny egg could have been laid in response to an issue in the mother’s reproductive tract or diet-related.

Naming rights of the North Island brown kiwi were auctioned on Trade Me and raised $1,000 for the National Kiwi Trust.

Now the chick has a name—Myfie. However, proceeds from the auction will only cover around 50% off the costs involved with raising a chick before releasing it into the wild.

Myfie is expected to stay at the centre for between 4-6 months before being released back into the wild by DOC staff. In the interim, Myfie will continue to be monitored daily and can be viewed during Kiwi Encounter tours, which are a major source of fundraising for the kiwi hatchery.

Myfie and her sibling hatched and side by side.

Newly hatched siblings

Kiwi Encounter is New Zealand’s largest and most successful kiwi conservation centre. It has hatched and nurtured over 1,300 eggs since 1995, when Rainbow Springs became involved in the Bank of New Zealand’s kiwi recovery programme, known as ‘Operation Nest Egg’.

Rangers, Caraline Abbott and Amanda Vallis, meet Myfie.

DOC rangers Caraline Abbott (left) and Amanda Vallis (far right) meet Myfie during a behind-the-scenes- tour

Toni Thompson, Rainbow Springs’ Territory Manager gave an update on Myfie’s progress:

“Myfie is doing great and the sponsors who named her got the chance to meet her this weekend. She is gaining weight at a good pace but is still very tiny for his or her age. We still don’t know if Myfie is a male or female but should have DNA results in the next couple of months.

“If she continues on her current weight-gain trajectory, she will go outside into our runs in the next couple of weeks.”

By Lisa Hamker, Visitor Centre Ranger at Paparoa National Park.

Last month I shared a photo of one of our newest, cutest, and fluffiest additions here on the West Coast — a one month old Westland black petrel chick in its burrow just south of Punakaiki.

One month later and look what the fluffy petrel chick has turned into!

A juvenile Westland black petrel in a burrow. Photo: Bruce Stuart-Menteath.

The fluffy Westland black petrel has grown up

Like all children, this one grew up very fast, and has turned into an almost adult looking Westland black petrel. He has kept his handsome smile though, as well as some fluff on his belly.

His parents fed him well but, when he got too chubby to fit through the tunnel to get out of the burrow, they left him to get back into fighting fit shape for his next big adventure — flying practice!

Flying practice involves jumping off a cliff, launching into the air and, most of the time, a not so graceful crash landing. Good luck petrel, we’ve got our fingers crossed for you!

Thanks to Bruce Stuart-Menteath from Paparoa Nature Tours for the photograph.

By Lisa Hamker, Visitor Centre Ranger at Paparoa National Park.

This fluffy thing, with the big, black and beautiful puppy dog eyes, is a one month old Westland black petrel chick in its burrow just south of Punakaiki.

Westland black petrel chick in a burrow.

Petrel chick cuteness. Photo: Bruce Stuart-Menteath | Paparoa Nature Tours

The chick’s parents still come in for feeding time in the evenings by doing an “elegant” crash landing in the canopy. They then drop to the ground, looking slightly disorientated for a few minutes, before regaining composure and waddling off to their burrow to have a noisy and somewhat reproachful chat with their partner. A bit like: “Did you actually forget to bring the Hoki? Do I now have to fly ALL THE WAY back to Hokitika to get one!”

Adult Westland black petrel in flight. Photo: Arthur Chapman | flickr (cc)

Adult black petrel out at sea. Photo: Arthur Chapman

In the morning mum and/or dad petrel will have to jump off the cliff to get airborne as their legs are too short to get them going on even ground. And off to another day at sea. Isn’t it amazing what these guys take on to raise their chick?

But let’s be honest – who wouldn’t, looking at a fluffy thing like that?