Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search

 

Top predator makes spectacular return to capital

New Zealand's top predator makes spectacular return to the capital
 

Conservation staff at the groundbreaking ZEALANDIA eco-sanctuary in Wellington believe they have found the first New Zealand falcons to have hatched in the city since the species disappeared as a breeding population in the Seventies.

Fledgling NZ Falcon. Photo by Tom Lynch, ZEALANDIA/Karori Sanctuary Trust.
Click to enlarge
Photo by Tom Lynch, ZEALANDIA/Karori Sanctuary Trust.
 

"It's an extremely significant discovery," said ZEALANDIA conservation manager Raewyn Empson

"Although there are quite a few breeding pairs in the Hutt Vally and Eastbourne, they haven't bred in Wellington city for decades! And they are hanging around right next to the main track, so it really is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see these powerful predators up close and in their element"

This time last year, ZEALANDIA staff found the capital's first ever recorded nest, very close to where this year's fledgings are hanging out. Unfortunately, the nest had been abandoned before any eggs were laid. A second nest, this time with eggs in it, was found in July - incredibly early for falcons - but that also failed.

"It seems it might have been third time lucky for these falcons" said Ms Empson

"Fledging four healthy chicks is almost unheard of. It's a good indication that there's a lot of food around. Being re-colonized by falcons means  that ZEALANDIA has reached an exciting new stage in its restoration."

At the moment, the chicks are still being fed by the father. The male will call as he arrives with food and the youngsters will fly up to meet him whining. To train them how to hunt, he will drop the food for them to catch in mid air. More often than not, they will miss and he will dive to catch it before it hits the ground and then take it up and drop it again. But by May next year they will be New Zealand's most powerful native predators - able to take on species as large as black backed gulls, kereru and ducks.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Facebook Announces New Changes: Combating Hate And Extremism

Some of these changes predate the tragic terrorist attack in Christchurch, New Zealand, but that attack, and the global response to it in the form of the Christchurch Call to Action, has strongly influenced the recent updates to our policies and their enforcement. More>>

Amazon Confirms: Lord Of The Rings Series To Shoot In NZ

Amazon Studios announced today that its series based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s iconic fantasy novels The Lord of the Rings will shoot in New Zealand. Pre-production has started, and production on the series will begin in Auckland in the coming months. More>>

ALSO:

Birds: Dunedin's Bells Ring As City Celebrates Its Albatross

The city's churches, schools and public buildings bells would chime in unison from 1pm, in what has been a long-standing tradition marking the return of the birds - and a farewell to this season's albatross chicks. More>>

Oscar Buzz: Waititi's Jojo Rabbit Wins People's Choice Award At Toronto

Taika Waititi's new film Jojo Rabbit has nabbed the coveted Grolsch People's Choice Award at the close of Toronto International Film Festival. More>>

ALSO:

Broken Estate: An Expat Expert Surveys Our Media

Melanie Bunce cut her teeth in journalism at the Otago Daily Times. Now she teaches and researches it at one of the UK’s most prestigious journalism schools and tracks the trends that shape the uncertain future of news... More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland