news | Kiwi Trust

By: Otanewainuku Kiwi Trust  05-Apr-2012
Keywords: Birds

kokako translocation: Rotoehu | Kaharoa

The Trust's major 2010 project to capture kokako from the Rotoehu and Kaharoa forests and re-introduce them into the Otanewainuku forest is underway. At the time of writing – 26/8/10 – 4 birds have been captured.

As you might imagine, sophisticated, proven techniques are needed to safely take rare wild birds from their habitat. I was privileged to take part in the operation which at times made me feel that I was on the set of a National Geographic TV programme!

Under the expert leadership of Dave Wills, who is a DOC Ranger as well as an OKT Trustee, our small team rose at 4:15am in order to reach the net site well before even the dawn chorus. In one of several pre-prepared bush clearings the mist net was quickly raised to a height of about 15 metres and we settled under hides to await the arrival of kokako.

By playing high quality recordings of the calls of 'out of territory' birds, the locals quite quickly made their presence known to check out the interloper. First their distant calls, then the flutter of wings, and then the sight of birds running along branches high in the canopy.

Garry Bones (Secretary)

Keywords: Birds

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kokako | Otanewainuku Kiwi Trust

The k?kako belongs to the endemic New Zealand wattlebirds , an ancient family of birds which includes the saddleback and the extinct huia. The k?kako is the only member of its family still surviving on the mainland.