Pukenui chick hatches
A chick from the 12 kiwi released in the Pukenui Western Hills is in the pink after hatching in an incubator at the Whanga¯ rei Bird Recovery Centre.
The bristly little bundle with the long pink beak broke out of its egg around 2am last Thursday.
Pukenui Western Hills Forest Trust ranger Bevan Cramp had taken the egg from under a male kiwi named Waimarie two weeks ago.
Its removal to the bird centre’s incubator followed concerns Waimarie needed a break after earlier sitting on one unviable egg.
Whanga¯ rei Bird Recovery Centre director Robert Webb said he had not long been home from the centre in the early hours when he checked the camera feed and discovered the kiwi chick had already broken out of its egg.
“It’s the first one from Pukenui to hatch in captivity,” Webb said.
“We’ll probably keep it for up to six weeks. Then when it’s regained its hatch weight and is growing steadily the Pukenui trust will take it back to the wild.”
It takes between 75 and 80 days for an egg to hatch, with the chicks hatching fully feathered, eyes open and able to walk.
Webb said chicks had a fat belly from eating the remaining egg sac in the hours before they start to hatch.
That food sustains them until they are able to forage for food themselves, usually at a few days old.
Kiwi chicks are never fed by the parents birds and leave home to fend for themselves at one to three weeks old.
THE kiwi chick, in the hands of Robyn Webb last Thursday.