September will be a busy month with the new season’s kiwi chicks about to arrive in the Brynderwyns.
Marunui Conservation shareholder, John Hawley, says at least three nests are hatching this month, further increasing the number of kiwi there.
With the additional seven kiwi released back in April there are now 43 adult birds and many have formed pairs.
Only six males now have transmitters for monitoring purposes and four of these are incubating eggs.
Te Uri o Hau’s namesake Tahuhu is about to hatch for the fourth time having nested once in 2013 and twice in 2014.
Star will be following a week later and then Tom. For each it will be their second nest as they both hatched their first chicks at Marunui last year.
Meanwhile, there is great excitement at Mangawhai Beach Primary School because the fourth kiwi sitting on eggs is Oscar, named by the pupils in April. His nest is due to hatch in October, which is Save Kiwi Month.
“We are all set to do some fundraising for Kiwi month and will have a mufti and morning tea day to raise some money for the birds,” says deputy principal Paula Bygrave.
Having had nine successful nests in 2013-14 and more now hatching, John Hawley says keeping the adults and their chicks safe has been the focus of predator trapping in Marunui and the surrounding area.
Chicks are vulnerable until they reach a weight of 1.2kg. Stoats, ferrets, wild cats, weasels, rats and possums are the prime targets.
This work has continued throughout the winter months with the help of volunteers and as the summer approaches baiting rounds will step up from monthly to fortnightly.
“Ongoing sponsorship by Mary Bennett, Chocolatier of Mangawhai, has been a huge help in purchasing monitoring equipment, traps and bait,” says John Hawley. “We are also delighted to have been approached by Harvest Blue Cafe owners Vanessa and Mike who want to contribute to kiwi protection.
“Save Kiwi Month raises the profile and plight of kiwi throughout New Zealand. Here in Mangawhai the enthusiasm and support from the school, local businesses and the wider community are doing our Brynderwyns kiwi proud.”
NESTING: Thanks to volunteers and sponsors, Marunui kiwi chick Toru will soon have some playmates.