Fal­cons rest

Central Otago Mirror - - CENTRAL NEWS - By JOHN EDENS

Two rare fal­cons have been re­leased, af­ter the fledglings were in­tro­duced to Mill­brook Re­sort near Ar­row­town. The fe­male New Zealand fal­cons, or karearea, were in­tro­duced as chicks. They lived in a hack box for the past few weeks, af­ter ar­riv­ing at the re­sort from the Wing­span Na­tional Bird of Prey Cen­tre in Ro­torua. The chicks were born to par­ents orig­i­nally from South­land, which were taken to the cen­tre to breed af­ter in­jury pre­vented flight. Mill­brook Re­sort mar­ket­ing man­ager Ciara McDer­mott said the birds were not al­lowed any hu­man con­tact dur­ing the in­tro- duc­tion phase. They were fed daily in the morn­ing and were now pot­ter­ing around in the trees near the hack box. Staff will con­tinue to sup­ple­ment feed­ing for up to a year. New Zealand fal­cons are en­demic, ca­pa­ble of fly­ing at speeds up to 100kmh with a habi­tat that ranges across the North and South Is­lands, Stewart Is­land and the Auck­land Is­lands. Their con­ser­va­tion ‘‘near-threat­ened.’’

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Photo: KOKO AWAYA/MILL­BROOK RE­SORT

IN­TRO­DUCED: Fe­male fal­cons have been re­leased at Mill­brook Re­sort.

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