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.