Friday December 13 was a lucky day at Marunui. A few days previously the Mangawhai Focus reported the arrival of the first kiwi chick at Marunui Conservation in the Brynderwyns and the uncertainty as to whether the second egg would hatch.
Approaching the nest burrow carefully, torchlight revealed not one but two chicks nestled side by side. The father, Rangiora, was nowhere to be seen and after 90 days of incubating the eggs, who could blame him!
The second chick weighed in at 250 grams and was a lively little character. It had a tiny transmitter fitted which will be replaced by a slightly larger one in three weeks time.
Catherine Hawley of Marunui says it has been a wonderful year, not least because of the tremendous support they have had from the Mangawhai business and residential community and near neighbours since the release of 14 kiwi back in April.
“We would like to express our thanks to everyone and especially to the increasing number of local volunteers who are helping us with the trapping of predators,” says Catherine. “It makes our work to protect the kiwi and other native birds so much easier and we are indebted to them.”
These are the first kiwi chicks to be born in the Brynderwyns for nearly 50 years, a great cause for celebration. With a second nest about to hatch, Catherine wonders who could wish for a better Christmas present.
Those interested in volunteering at Marunui are invited to email firstname.lastname@example.org
■ DOGS ARE ONE OF THE GREATEST THREATS TO KIWI. They are not permitted to enter Marunui via any route. Nor are they permitted on the Tanekaha Forest Track, a walkway that leads from King Road into the DOC Reserve adjacent to Marunui. The co-operation of all dog owners, including pig hunters, is requested. Any dog can kill kiwi. Please don’t let it be yours.