Ducks Unlimited NZ

Displaying items by tag: Bird watching

Monday, 22 July 2019 12:34

Protecting our kakī

By DOC Ranger Cody Thyne

As a ranger based in Twizel the main part of my job is supporting the Kakī Recovery Programme.
Kakī/black stilts are one of New Zealand’s rarest birds and the mission of the Kakī Recovery Programme is to increase their 
population in the wild and ensure this special bird is not lost for future generations.

As part of a small team of four permanent and a few seasonal staff, my responsibilities involve managing kakī in the wild. This includes counting how many adults are out there; traipsing up and down numerous braided rivers in the Mackenzie Basin searching for breeding pairs; observing and interpreting behaviour; finding their nests; reading leg bands and collecting eggs fromthe wild to bring back to the captive rearing facility in Twizel.
Walking up and down large braided rivers isn’t for everyone, particularly if you don’t like uneven ground, stumbling around, 
getting your feet and other body parts wet, super hot days with no shade, howling winds, abrupt temperature changes, long periods of time staring through a spotting scope with one eye, and lunchtime sandwiches turning to toast when exposed to the dry alpine air. However, the views are breathtaking, and the chance to see wildlife that manages to scrape out a living in this environment, is definitely worth the trip.
The eggs I collect are brought back to the captive rearing facility in Twizel which is also home to a number of kakī pairs for captive breeding.
The facility is where kakī eggs are artificially incubated and young chicks are raised in captivity.

At 3–9 months they are released into the wild. Rearing them in captivity significantly increases their chances of survival by 
preventing predation when they are most vulnerable and it also gets them through their first winter, which can be tough for young birds in the wild.


Published in Issue 161
Monday, 22 July 2019 12:29

Maori Bay track

Volunteers have been working on the Maori Bay track at Tawharanui. Many Flight readers would possibly be going fishing or bird watching on this southern coastline of the Tokata Peninsular so they might like to see what the track looks like now! Loose metal will be added once the drier weather occurs.

Roger Williams has been leading this mid-week volunteer group working on the Maori Bay Track which is about 30 minutes walk from the Anchor Bay carpark. On the way you walk through the Ecology Bush and should see/hear Brown Teal, Saddlebacks, Robins, Keruru, Tui, Bellbirds and may even see Kaka and Kakariki. The track upgrade should be completed by the end of September.

Published in Issue 161