A lucky few get the chance to see a kiwi in the wild

The chance to see a kiwi in the wild makes for an unforgettable experience! The Upclose Kiwi Encounter is always a favourite event during our Summer Programme.

The 8 January saw a bunch of us gather at Tangiaro Kiwi Retreat for the first Upclose Kiwi Encounter of 2013. The day kicked off with our guides, Diane Prince and Tommy Herbert giving an informative talk on the kiwi, its biology, and the main threats to its survival. They also explained how transmitters allow them to track not just where the kiwi is, but also whether the birds are nesting, how many eggs it has laid, and whether those eggs have hatched into chicks.

Diane uses telemetry equipment to track down our kiwi

Once the kiwi dogs (Neo and Honey) were ready, we set off up the track, following the beeps Diane was reading from her telemetry gear. We didn’t have to go far. Rehua the male kiwi was up on the ridge, fast asleep in a burrow made from bracken fern.

The group quietly encircled the slumbering kiwi, tightening the circle as the dogs indicated where he was. After some suspense, Tommy skillfully reached in and pulled him out.

Check out a short video  of Tommy as he catches Rehua the kiwi on Youtube

There was a flurry of photo-taking as everyone got a chance to witness this incredible bird upclose and in the wild. Diane undertook a 6 monthly health check of the bird who was wieghed and measured. Rehua took it all in his stride, even falling asleep during the inspection!

Rehua the kiwi in good hands

Rehua the kiwi is one of only three kiwi monitored in the Northern Coromandel, and provides crucial clues into how this species is responding to ongoing predator control efforts. While nationally the kiwi is in trouble, here on the Coromandel, kiwi are flourishing due to intensive predator control efforts by community groups and the Department of Conservation.

Another Upclose Kiwi Encounter is being run on the 19 January 2013. Bookings are essential.

To find out what’s on in 2013, look out for our Programme booklet. You can download a programme here, or pick one up from Coromandel I-site.

The Moehau Environment Group Summer Holiday Programme is run annually by a dedicated bunch of volunteers. The programme has been running for over ten years and all funds raised go towards the protection of Kiwi Habitat in the Northern Coromandel.