News & Events from Otanewainuku

Kiwi Egg hunting at Murupara

Sheryl Peterson gives us an update of her latest venture withONE

We've been on another kiwi expedition to Murupara. Listening for male kiwi to put transmitters on for operation nest egg. this time was on a narrow gravel, used mainly by hunters, trampers and mountain bikers. We're back a day early because it's going to be wet tonight so little point in going out. Kiwi call doesn't travel well and the scent is washed out so the dogs can't track.

Had a fabulous trip, rather lazy just walking 1/2 hr into listening post then sitting for the night and walking out again. Every thing jelled to make it pleasant. very little wind, very warm temps, (worked up a sweat walking down hill at 5am wearing a singlet.) and success.

First night we took bearings on 3 different male kiwi. The following day James and dogs were unable to come up with a bird so second night we concentrated on one area where the kiwi obliged and called at 9.30pm and 4.15 am so had two bearings each from two people.

James found him pretty quickly after day break and discovered that there was a 2 week old chick in the burrow as well. Dad had transmitter fitted and Chick was up lifted and send to Kiwi Encounter. 

Wednesday night we concentrated on another ridge, I didn't hear anything but the other two got good bearings on male and female at 11.30pm. After a discussion with James we decided to leave it alone for 2 weeks as the call time indicates that the male is on eggs and we'd rather pickup a chick than panic the boy and have him break or abandon an about to hatch clutch. The later the male gets off the nest the closer to hatch the eggs are.

After combining information from all three nights we're pretty sure where to head next to isolate another pair.
We're planning another expedition soon and maybe try another site along the road as well.

Sheryl Petersen

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