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Kiwi eggs in the nursery at Pukaha Mount Bruce

Kiwi eggs in the nursery at Pukaha Mount Bruce look set to produce a New Year’s chick.

Pukaha Mount Bruce staff received a super Christmas present, two kiwi eggs from the Rimutaka forest park trust arrived late last week. One of the eggs has just started the hatching process with an internal pip in the egg. This kiwi egg looks set to hatch just in time for the New Year.

The eggs are now in incubators in the kiwi house nursery where Pukaha staff will carefully turn them every 4 hours until they hatch.

Visitors to Pukaha Mount Bruce can expect to see more eggs arriving into the nursery over the next few weeks as Rimutaka forest park volunteers are monitoring other nests in the Rimutaka forest park. Lead kiwi ranger, Jess Flamy, says “we are all very excited and looking forward to hearing the news that the eggs are hatching. The team are getting ready to collect all visitors in the park and make sure they are in the nursery should we be lucky enough to have a hatching occur during opening hours”.

The kiwi breeding season at Pukaha has already seen the first of the wild kiwi chicks successfully hatched. Monitoring of these chicks has shown them growing strong and safe in the 942 hectare National Wildlife Centre. More kiwi conservation breeding success sees one of the two rare white kiwi that were hatched at Pukaha Mount Bruce in 2011, Mapuna, happily paired with a female north island brown kiwi.

The rangers at Pukaha were thrilled to get this rare and amazing video of male white kiwi, Mapuna. This video caught by trail camera in the Pukaha pre-release enclosures shows Mapuna calling to a female kiwi. The female kiwi arrives and a mating “dance” occurs before we see the female kiwi start to arrange herself for mating. This footage is rarely captured on video.

Although this pair is yet to produce an egg, this video confirms that the pair are mating in the Pukaha Mount Bruce reserve.

Pukaha Mount Bruce is a participant in Operation Nest Egg where kiwi eggs are monitored and taken from nests at around 70 days from being laid. They are then incubated and hatched in the nursery before the kiwi are raised to a weight of approximately 1.2 kilos before being released back into the forest.

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