A busy summer for native bird recovery

By Dean Nathan
  • Northland

A kiwi chick was one of several birds welcomed by the staff of the Whangarei Bird Recovery Centre today.  

Wildlife manager Robert Webb says the summer period is the ideal time for visitors to see a wide variety of native species, with special attention being given to a young kiwi found on Moturoa Island after having sustained a spinal injury.

"We've had about six different types of birds come in already today just within a matter of hours," says Webb,  "So it goes like this right up till about the start of February and then it will start to taper off a bit as the babies go.  But you get all the younger ones coming in- the ruru and all those baby ones very soon as well."

While Te Kāea was there, a member of the public brought in a couple of penguin chicks.   Mr Webb suspects that the parents of the chicks were accidentally hit by a passing boat, with the chicks distinctive call making them easy to find.

Webb says, "It sounds exactly like children in trouble.  You would swear that somebody was hurting a child.  And this is why the penguin is easy to find because people hear that and they think 'oh, children are being hurt'.  So they rush to see whats happening and then they find the penguins.  So those little fellas there, in five weeks time they will go back to the ocean and they'll be ready to take off."

Approximately 1,300 birds are brought to the centre in Whangarei every year with the summer months providing an excellent opportunity for visitors to see a diverse range of bird species.

Webb says, "Come and have a look at what we're doing and you might get the chance to see some really unusual birds.  The best part of it is...when you see one of these birds, or any of them, released back into the wild again where they should be, that's the reward."