Woof Woof was our semi-tame Tui, he would sing and if you were patient he would talk back to you too. He would often startle visitors with his very deep male voice -- an exact match for centre manager Robert Webb.
“Snoopy” our one legged North Island Brown kiwi died on Wednesday 20 June 2007. Snoopy was 15 years old and had lived with Robert and Robyn Webb at their home since he was only 3 months old.
Snoopys death was a real shock for Robert and Robyn as Snoopy was like a member of their family. Snoopy would call out to them when they arrived home at night and wait to be let out on the grass to probe for worms and grubs. The Webb’s have not had a holiday in years as they couldn’t just leave Snoopy with anyone.
Sparky will now follow in Snoopy’s foot step and take on the role of Kiwi ambassador travelling around schools and other public forums to promote wildlife conservation. Sparky is another one legged kiwi who lives at the Whangarei Native Bird Recovery Centre. He came to the Centre as a young bird in 2002, his leg injury was also caused by a “Gin trap” that had been set on the ground to trap possums.
Fertile eggs are recovered from the burrows of wild kiwi approximately 45 to 50 days into the 75 day incubation. Incubation, hatching and rearing of the young kiwi is completed in captivity.
Of all the kiwi hatched and reared in the wild only 5% make it to adulthood. Most of the 95% of birds that are killed, die within the first 6 weeks of life. Many of these birds are killed by predators such as stoats, ferrets, weasels, ferrel cats and roaming dogs.
“The neighbour phoned me to come over and have a look at this strange looking brown and white bird. She said it was trying desperately to get into her chook house!”
Mr & Mrs Gregory rushed next door and immediately recognised the bird as a young Bittern. Bitterns fledge at 7 weeks (approx.), somehow the “teenaged” bird must have got lost and decided that any type of bird was a good bird to hang around with – even the chooks.
This bird was found on Ninety Mile Beach by surfcasters on Friday 23 April 2007. The albatross was transferred to a small bird centre in the Far North. The bird was very skinny and they could not get him to eat so they sent him to us at the Whangarei Native Bird Recovery Centre on Monday 26 April 2007. It appeared that the bird had been caught in the recent storm, battling gale force winds from the east and he was absolutely worn out, unable to stand or hold his head up.
The white heron had flown into the back yard of a family in the Ruakaka area where he ate all the fish in the goldfish pond. The family let him as they were so amazed at having such a beautiful visitor. They could also see that the bird had an injured left foot and was not weight bearing on that leg.