In New Zealand we have our special icon, the Kiwi. This is the only country in the world where Kiwi live. They make their burrows in the undergrowth and enjoy running about searching for worms and spiders.
However, with such a lot of predators now, it is wise to have Kiwi either in a safely fenced or pest monitored area. At Tawharanui we have just that right situation, with the Predator Proof Fence across the Tokatu Point at the termination of Tawharanui Peninsular, giving freedom to all native creatures within.
Kiwi breed around Autumn each year, once they are old enough. This is about two years old. They like to call at twilight which is the two hours after the sun goes down. So Kiwi Call Monitoring occurs when volunteers sit during those two hours usually 6 – 8pm, in June each year, silently listening for the calls.
Once the first call is heard then a count is commenced, slowly, sometimes reaching to over 20 times. These are usually the male birds with their shrill high whistles. Then occasionally a female will call with her lower guttural tones. Sometimes, all is then quiet. Perhaps they have found their mate!
Once the two hours is completed the volunteers collect together again at their base for supper and a chat about their evening event.
Sitting out in the dark at this time can be very cold in New Zealand. So good warm woolly and dry clothing is essential. Usually dry nights with little wind are chosen. The moon is rarely visible. Try it sometime – it’s a thrilling experience!