Pukenui chick hatches

Whangarei Report - - NEWS -

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.

PHOTO / JOHN STONE

THE kiwi chick, in the hands of Robyn Webb last Thurs­day.

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