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In Waipu, the lone chick is diligently practicing wing-strengthening moves, signaling its imminent journey into the skies.
Mangawhai's estuary is lively, with several larger fairy tern chicks under the supervision of their parents, learning to fend for themselves. Meanwhile, there are still numerous smaller chicks to be banded.
At Pakiri, Ranger Lucille is winding down her activities at the site. However, she looks forward to sharing the beach with people who want to join her for birdwatching and advocacy this weekend.
In Papakanui, the fairy tern chick is thriving on a diet of well-supplied mullet provided by its parents.
The aviary is a bustling scene as the four chicks explore their surroundings, venturing out and returning to feed on the fish supplied on-site. Occasionally, they mingle with the adult fairy terns.
Mangawhai continues to be a hub of excitement with a remarkable increase in the fairy tern chick count, now totalling an impressive seven. Among them, two have taken their first flights, while two more have been banded.
Waipu reports progress as the fairy tern chick has been successfully banded and is poised to embark on the learning-to-fly journey.
Papakanui shares great news as their fairy tern chick is thriving.
Unfortunately, Pakiri hasn't witnessed the arrival of fairy tern chicks this season. However, an exciting Birdwatching/Advocacy event is in the works for the 27th/28th of January. Everyone is welcome to participate, and registration can be done at the Holiday Park.
Within the domain of captive rearing, the aviary is abuzz with activity as four fairy tern chicks are being closely monitored by DOC, Zoo and volunteer teams. These fledglings are honing their flying and fishing skills outdoors while still returning home to feed and roost at night.
Rangers and volunteers are bustling with activity, devotedly caring for numerous little fluff balls at each site. The excitement is palpable!
The Waipu chick has begun its explorations, with both parents actively sharing family duties in this heartwarming display of parental teamwork.
In Mangawhai, the six chicks are thriving, with the older ones starting to stretch their wings and engage in short flights around the nest sites. Their lively antics add an extra layer of charm to the picturesque surroundings.
At Pakiri, the dedicated Ranger is immersed in advocacy and compliance work at this bustling and popular site. In addition to overseeing the fairy tern chicks, there's a vigilant eye on the dotterel and oyster catcher chicks, ensuring the safety of all these precious birds.
Celebrations are in order at Papakanui, where the resident pair has successfully hatched a plucky chick. Both parents are diligently providing rather large fish to nourish their feathered offspring, showcasing a heartening commitment to nurturing their young.
The chicks at the Auckland Zoo's captive rearing program are adapting well to their aviary surroundings, finding nourishment in the little pools provided by tin lids! These adorable avian youngsters have been equipped with tiny satellite/radio tags, allowing conservationists to closely monitor them post-release and ensure their continued well-being in the wild.
Mangawhai boasts the delightful news of welcoming five new fairy tern chicks, two of which are already banded and in the early stages of flight.
Over in Waipu, a Christmas day miracle unfolded as a chick hatched from a Mangawhai transfer. However, the site faces a few compliance challenges involving dogs, fires, bikes, and jetskis. The Ranger is diplomatically addressing these issues to ensure the safety and well-being of the fairy terns.
Tragically, Pakiri experienced disappointment as an anticipated egg failed to hatch as expected.
Papakanui tells a different tale as the resilient pair, nesting for the third time, safeguarded an egg during inclement weather. It was temporarily removed for protection and later returned to the nest.
In the realm of captive rearing, the Auckland Zoo reports the successful hatching of the fourth chick. All are thriving, with plans to relocate them to the Te Arai aviary on the horizon.
In total, there are ten fairy tern chicks, and the possibility of three more eggs incubating. The season appears promising, with fingers crossed for continued success.
A heartfelt appreciation goes out to the dedicated individuals working tirelessly behind the scenes, including Rangers, Volunteers, Trappers, DOC staff, and Zoo personnel. Their collective efforts contribute significantly to the conservation and well-being of the NZ fairy terns.
There is a one egg nest with Rangers keeping a good eye on it. Trapping has been stepped up.
Now 2 new little fluff balls to join the other 2 older chicks and Rangers have candled the remaining eggs with strong lights to check they are fertile. Many other species have chicks too.
The female is still glued to her nest but her partner has persuaded her to share nest duties. Local kaitiaki helped candle the egg and place extra chick shelters.
The intrepid pair have laid new eggs after their second nest was predated by gulls.
Volunteers were lucky to see 1 of the 3 freshly hatched chicks on the spit last weekend. Still wet, tiny spiky fluff balls. There are also 3 other nests being well cared for by the parents.
Unfortunately the nest was predated, probably by black backed gulls but there are signs that the birds may lay again.
At last, a 1 egg nest!
One egg nest and very well looked after by the female who is very dedicated and reluctant to share nesting duties with her partner.
There are 4 eggs for captive rearing at the zoo and the aviary is near completion for use in early January.
We have 3 nests and 6 eggs at Mangawhai. The birds that deserted their nest in the recent storm have re-nested after only 6 days.
There are 3 eggs incubating at Auckland Zoo and they will begin the captive breeding program for this season - one egg is from Papakanui.
Rangers have been kept very busy replacing hazing fences after they were buried by strong winds, plus monitoring traps and signs of new nests.
It's exciting times!!
Our fairy terns last week laid the first eggs! 2 at Mangawhai and 1 at Papakanui. Both nests would have been swept away by high tides during an approaching storm so DOC Rangers moved them to Auckland Zoo. Dummy eggs were put in their place, but both nests were abandoned.
An aviary is being built where chicks hatched at the zoo during the season can be cared for in an attempt to increase the numbers of our precious birds.
The pairs seem to be sorted at Waipu, Papakanui, Pakiri and Mangawhai. Lots of fish feeding by the male to the female seen by the DOC Rangers at each site which improves the pair bonding and prompts females to lay. Even copulation noted so it won't be long now!
A cat has been trapped at Mangawhai and a low netting fence has been put right around the nesting area which may help keep predators at bay.
Any day now there should be eggs......
On Wednesday, March 22nd, seven fairy tern chicks were released on Manu Kapua island. The release took place just after a very high tide, with numerous shorebirds and migratory birds flocking to the area. Up to 15 adult fairy terns were among them.
Six chicks had hatched at Auckland Zoo, and one chick was collected from Waipu after being abandoned during a storm. All of the birds were in good condition, weighing between 57gms and 61gms.
Before the release, food trays were set up in front of and behind the Tara Iti chick boxes. The chicks emerged from their boxes one-by-one, flying upwards and out towards the east with the wind, eagerly enjoying their newfound freedom.