Post boxes get new residents
A woman with a special interest in little blue penguins is repurposing old Kiwi post boxes and creating nests.
Postie Lorraine Adams thought of the idea years ago when she saw a former New Zealand Post street box that was destined for the chopping block as an opportunity to help the small birds at the Oamaru Creek Penguin Reserve. Since then she has collected about 30 from throughout New Zealand, and used them as nesting boxes.
The penguins are a popular tourist attraction in the North Otago town of Oamaru. The world’s smallest penguins began nesting in a rock quarry at the edge of Oamaru Harbour during the early 1990s and since then the population has swelled.
Adams asked her brother to cut the boxes in half, and the post box nest project flowed on JOHN BISSET/STUFF from there. ‘‘The boxes were going to be destroyed as they were boxes that were damaged.’’
She said the boxes were perfect for the little birds because they were weatherproof and provided a cosy space to nest. It was important to look after the penguins as a treasure of the New Zealand coast, she said. There is a high mortality rate for young birds but if they survive their first 12 months, they can live for up to 25 years.
SundayNews caught up with Adams last week when she was at the reserve checking the boxes following recent wet weather that lashed the country. The boxes, and the birds, had fared well, she said.
Lorraine Adams has repurposed old post boxes as nesting boxes.