Good news on the kiwi front on all counts.

Graham was on the move from the middle of September his signal location moved back into the gully were he had nested. His activity plummeted from 8.5 hours to 5.5 hours over a week, we thought hopefully he is about to sit on an egg again. Good news when we listened again this week he was back in fast mode and incubating his second egg of the season. Fingers crossed this time he is more successful.

Meanwhile Terry is still safely in his puriri tree burrow. The first photographs showed him hopping in and out of the burrow and feeding in the leaf litter close to the nest area. He was joined by a large cheeky rat. A call to our amazing trapper and within 24 Horus we had a military operation in place to catch the rat. A week later 5 rats caught and finally a night of none on the camera. Without his transmitter which allows us to get such amazing camera footage we would not have known his peaceful nest was being disturbed and be able to respond so quickly.

Even though rats are not significant threat for kiwi eggs Terry was more relaxed on the footage once the rat was absent. The message, even though we though our mammalian pest control was good rats are everywhere and (we saw one and caught 5), they will be back.

On another note a vet in our group was part of an amazing team effort to save a female kiwi from being very close to dying after being hit by a car in September. She had multiple injuries and intensive treatment at Bay of Islands Veterinary Clinic for 5 days until she was well enough for DOC to transfer her to the rehab place in Whangarei. It was a great opportunity to make connections with Massey Wildlife Base and Kiwi Coast’s Lesley came and helped show staff how to handle, tube feed and feed sick kiwi. Named Rose, she is doing well and at this stage sometime before Christmas will be returned to her home in the Puketi Forest.

Kiwi Taxon Aug-Sept 2023

Lynne has been out learning the ropes of telemetry and discovering the challenges. August finished with more wet cold nights and spring arrived to warmer conditions still more rain and then the wind arrived on Radar Hill.

Good news is this month we have been able to locate both kiwi signals weekly from Leigh-Ann and Jamie’s property.

An unexpected joy, the first day of spring arrived with a change of state and Terry is nesting - possibly for the first time. Being a younger male, we did not expect him to incubate an egg this year.

Terry seems to like the gully where he was located in April and this week at Doug’s we picked up his signal loud and strong compared to the much fainter beeps we get from Leigh-Ann and Jamie’s.

Meanwhile Graham is still in the more northerly gully away from his abandoned nest area. And still showing no sign of nesting. We will continue to monitor him.

Terry is still emerging from this nest around sunset. For the last three weeks he has emerged before 6pm (sunset 6:18pm on the day we recorded) and Graham is now emerging just after the sun sinks over the hills in the West. They are back in their burrows nightly - Terry now around 9:30 pm, meanwhile Graham was back in the burrow at 3:30am this week. A complete reverse of the month before!!

Introducing our monitored Kiwi Graham and Terry

Kiwi Taxon June-July 2023

Jen and I have had a few wet cold nights out trying to locate our kiwi. As said previously it's easier said than done, but we are getting better at working the technology and guessing the movement patterns.
Three weeks in a row we located the signals from Leigh-Ann and Jamie’s property! Over the last month Terry has been active for between 10.5 to 11.5 hours on average each night. Meanwhile we have watched Graham’s hours decline. Initially we thought it may be bad weather, but we can confirm that he is nesting! Last week he was active for just over 4 hours a night and this week only 2 and a half, indicating that he is reluctant to leave his egg to go to find food. Lesley recommends us putting cameras out in a couple of weeks.
Terry is still emerging from this nest right on sunset currently about 5:40pm (sunset 5:38pm on the day we recorded) and Graham is now an hour later this week 6:45pm. Back in their burrows - Terry still around 4 am, meanwhile Graham was back in the burrow at 9:30pm this week.

Kiwi Taxon July-Aug 2023

Now in early August and still we are locating the signals from Leigh-Ann and Jamie’s property. Graham has been in fast mode and for two weeks was definitely nesting - active for less than 3 hours a night, poor guy not much time to find a good feed. We listened again on 15 August and worryingly, his activity had nearly doubled. Four days later, Lesley came with her specialised tracking dog, Yagi to see if we could locate the nest and place a camera. We are sad to report that the telemetry showed he had moved and was in the gully behind where we expected and there was a change of state. Yagi found an abandoned nest, it smelt of a rotten egg and nearby were pig stools. We continued to search (with Yagi’s help) for more evidence, walking in circles through dense native bush and climbing around plenty of supplejack! Looking back at the figures there was one night where he had a change in pattern (out of the burrow and back in later, but stayed out for a longer period) just at the time he must have abandoned. Possibly a pig disturbed him or due to endless bad weather he was off the egg too long. The nest was in the roots of a large puriri with multiple openings - a good safe place on a northern slope. Over the years Grham has often abandoned his first nest so we are hopeful that he will have another in the weeks to come. We will continue to monitor him. We already suspect that he has moved for a period into the next valley.

Meanwhile over the last month Terry is still active over 10 hours on average each night and emerging from this nest right on sunset currently. The days are getting longer (sunset 5:53pm on the day we recorded). Terry seems to like the gully where he was located in April. At times due to the terrain his signal is hard to locate but we are confident he is moving up and down the gully in a small area. In fact, we have discovered that when recording, if he has already left his burrow and is active before we begin, we lose his signal for a while and then he comes back into range again. Sigh of relief 😊