Call goes out for ea­gle eyes

North Taranaki Midweek - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - CHRIS­TINE WALSH

While it’s not your typ­i­cal bird song it is a call for vol­un­teers to help lis­ten and look out for birds.

Two Taranaki en­vi­ron­men­tal projects are call­ing for pub­lic help with mon­i­tor­ing to gauge the suc­cess of re­cent bird translo­ca­tions. They seek the ea­gle-eyes of vol­un­teers to mon­i­tor the well known bird re-tweets, Mt Taranaki and the Ro­tokare Re­serve.

The spring breed­ing sea­son is near and in a bid to kill two birds with one stone so-to-speak, both the Ro­tokare Scenic Re­serve Trust and Taranaki Mounga en­vi­ron­men­tal project want to get an ac­cu­rate idea of the toutouwai, also known as North Is­land robin pop­u­la­tion on Mt Taranaki and hihi and toutouwai pop­u­la­tions at Ro­tokare.

‘‘Pa­tience, a sharp set of eyes, and a keen ear for birds will be help­ful for this but any­one can do these sur­veys with a bit of train­ing un­der their belt. It is a great op­por­tu­nity to de­velop your bird skills and get to know some of these species bet­ter,’’ Ro­tokare Scenic Re­serve Trust site man­ager Fiona Gor­don said.

Full train­ing will be pro­vided for those who put their hands up, Gor­don said

Taranaki Mounga re­leased 50 toutouwai on Mt Taranaki in April this year, af­ter a 112 year ab­sence. They are such cool lit­tle birds and bird mon­i­tor­ing is sim­ply a walk in the bush, with pur­pose.

‘‘The other bonus is you get to meet in­ter­est­ing and like minded peo­ple, how­ever vol­un­teers must be phys­i­cally able to walk along rough tracks,’’ DOC se­nior bio­di­ver­sity ranger Emily King said.

The robin sur­vey will take place on Mt Taranaki be­tween Septem­ber 4-17, and the Ro­tokare Trust also needs sup­port in mon­i­tor­ing toutouwai in the re­serve from Au­gust 27 to Septem­ber 3, and hihi from 18 to 28 Septem­ber.

Peo­ple need good footwear and cloth­ing for cold/wet con­di­tions, a note­book and pen­cil, phone or watch and binoc­u­lars.

Train­ing days will be of­fered on Sun­day, Au­gust 27 at Ro­tokare and Sun­day Septem­ber 3 on the moun­tain at the North Taranaki Vis­i­tor Cen­tre.

If you are in­ter­ested in vol­un­teer­ing con­tact Fiona Gor­don fiona@ro­tokare.org.nz or 06 764 8500.

SUP­PLIED

Toutouwai/robin - what a cute lit­tle bird.

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