Learning to fly

It isn’t easy being a native bird in NZ.

It’s a struggle to safely hatch if your nest can’t protect you from possum, stoats and rats.

If you can’t fly, cats, stoats and dogs do not make good neighbours.

If you are just learning to fly – which often means spending some time on the ground recovering from your last test flight – you are equally vulnerable.

Kākā are one such bird.  Kākā nest in tree cavities – usually large hollowed out native trees.  A typical nest will be between 2-4 eggs laid in late winter.  If a successful nest, chicks (or fledglings) might be ready to leave the nest in spring.  This is when they are their most vulnerable – flapping about on the ground, making a bit of noise and blissfully unaware of the dangers around them.

At Project Rameka we’ve been trying for 10 years to make it more welcoming to native birds.  We have been controlling possums, rats, stoats and weasels during that time through a mixture of trapping and bait.

With kākā being recently released in the nearby Abel Tasman National Park by DOC and Janszoon we thought it was time to put out a bigger welcome mat.

Enter a Kapiti Coast entrepreneur (Youssef Mourra from Nonsuch Consulting) and Kapiti Menzshed (Nigel and Mark in photo below).

With their generosity we are now the proud owners of an artificial nesting box designed to keep the most persistent of pests at bay.

Installed by Stuart, Evan and Andrew in early May it provides a safe haven for eggs and parents, filled with locally sourced wood chips and tasteful wooden interior for climbing practice.

We hope it is only a matter of time before we see kākā at Rameka as we are only 4-6km away from areas that kākā were released.  If we have any nesting on the Project we will certainly let you know!

Thanks again to our supporters, and Wellington DOC for putting us in touch with them.


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