Recently, there was an exciting opportunity for volunteers, Department of Conservation (DOC) workers, and members of the public to visit the seven remaining fairy tern chicks at the aviary. These chicks are looking sleek and healthy, thanks to their diet of tiny fish, some of which are provided by commercial fish companies, such as salmon and trout. During the visit, visitors were treated to the sight of one young bird diving into the pond provided, catching a large fish, and gobbling it down. Auckland Zoo staff, who have experience in caring for aviary birds, are helping DOC to look after the chicks.
In preparation for their release into the wild, DOC staff are closely monitoring the areas on the Kaipara where fairy terns are seen flocking together at this time of the year. The plan is to release the mature chicks together near the group of adult birds at the end of the month, on a high tide. This will give them the best chance of coping with life in the wild.