Oct 302019

The Trustees have decided to close the website as our original provider is no longer available. You will find us on Facebook, Bush Haven and I will endeavour to keep this up to date. New carers, Kathy & Douglas Black can be found at 33 Oreti Road, Otatara and their phone number is 03.2130504, cell 027.7865365. This is for native birds, such as kereru, tui, kingfishers or owls.


Oct 292019

Since the last post I made with kaka chick names up to 2016, in 2017-18 Hannah and Casey, our Kaka parents reared five chicks, three in the first clutch and two in the second, named as follows:

2017/18 – Manaaki – named by ILT Foundation, means ‘hospitality’

Tomas – named by Carol & Colin Evans

Phoenix – named by staff at G M Marketing

2018 – Maitland – named by Gloria Harris

Arolha – named by Sheirlaw family


This is our previous helper, Charlotte who has since moved to Hamilton, with Casey.

In 2019 they also reared three chicks, as follows:

Duke – named by our great friend and helper, Geoff Dembo

Elaine  – named by our friend and lawyer’s family, Rochelle Francis

Angel  – named by our daughter Lisa and family.

The last chicks were released at Bark Bay, Abel Tasman National Park on 8 October 2019.  They have transmitters on them and will hopefully remain well and healthy for a long time. The parent birds, Hannah and Casey are now at the Queenstown Bird Park, and they have produced 24 chicks for release to wild areas in Abel Tasman and Orokonui since 2014, the most prolific of all the paired captive birds.

Sep 162019

It is with much sadness that I have to inform everyone that Russell Evans passed away on 28 July after a short illness.  Russell had a really tough 15 months since April last year when his femur broke and it took two operations to start healing. However he still managed to work on the Otatara property and after a lengthy search for funders to continue the work there, we had to dismantle aviaries so some of them could be erected on other sites. Russell did the work of several men with help from a few dedicated people but all of this took its toll on his health and he ended up in hospital with a severe pneumonia which didn’t respond to any treatments and his system couldn’t cope with.


So we no longer have a Chairman of our Trust, and at our recent AGM, I [May] am now Chairperson, with several new trustees – Kathy Morrison & Douglas Black, Rochelle Francis. Penelope Gillette is now Secretary and Douglas Black Treasurer. Thankyou to Gloria Harris for her work as Treasurer in the past 10 years. Other trustees are Gavin Evans, Lisa Stuart [Veterinarian], Bruce Maher and Stuart McDougall. Gloria will still take care of owls and Kathy & Douglas will be running the Bush Haven hospital. Gretchen and Steven Ledington are busy getting the release aviaries built on their property.

Apr 122019

The hospital of Bush Haven has moved to a new site at 33 Oreti Road, the home of Kathy Morrison and Douglas Black, where they will care for our precious injured native birds such as kereru, tui, bellbird, kingfishers and falcons. The phone number remains the same, 03.2130530 and you press ‘1’ for injured birds and will get Kathy’s cellphone.

The release site is at a different address, 106 Ariki Avenue, the home of Gretchen and Steven Ledington, and the aviary is still to be constructed there.

The Bush Haven Native Bird Rehabilitation Trust will continue to financially support both venues, and we hope to continue caring for the important native birds of Southland for some time into the future. Remember we are not equipped for seabirds – if you get one please contact DoC 0800-362-468.

Thankyou to all our supporters over the years – you know who you are.  We will still call on some of you to keep our trust up and running in the future.


Dec 212018

Russell and May at Bush Haven have had a pretty difficult year. Busy at the start with kaka chicks and other birds, the rehab birds keeping us pretty busy too. Then in April Russell had a broken femur which was treated with a large nail inserted and he began the rehab process himself, with May taking on more of the outside work. Over time Russell became sure the bone ends were not joined as he could feel them moving as he walked..still with one crutch most of the time.

In November he finally had a second operation with a larger nail being inserted and he is now getting used to walking around a bit more, still on one or two crutches, but can’t feel the bones moving so fingers crossed.  With May needing knee surgery some time and stairs everywhere we have come to a decision to leave Bush Haven and at present the future is a bit insecure for us, and for the birds.

If anyone out there sees this post and is keen to move south and purchase a really great property to look after injured native birds as a lifestyle change, please phone us at 03.2130530 in the first instance. There is an option of keeping our native and exotic parrot collection, or just working with the rehab side of things.

Jul 082017

Today we were thrilled to receive a cheque from Precision Panels, who supported us last year as well.  It was really great to get this from the local firm. We also acknowledge Marty Burwood who spares us a donation regularly from his pension. As we at Bush Haven are also on a pension we really appreciate this.

We also supplement our income by selling tee shirts, mugs and bookmarks.

Jul 082017

Introducing three new Antipodes Island Parakeets – from Victoria Esplanade, Palmerston North. They arrived in late April to keep our lonely male company and are getting on really well together in the aviary. These birds are so special as they only live in the wild on the remote Antipodes Islands, so no-one would ever get to see them if not in captivity.  There are only a few parks and private holders with these special birds, which are from the Cyanoramphus family, as are the red and yellow crowned Kakariki which we also have in the aviaries at Bush Haven.  The ‘Antips’ are called ‘unicolour’ because they don’t have a red or yellow ‘crown’, but are mostly various shades of green from their brilliant emerald heads to the more olivey under belly. They are very like miniature keas in nature, inquisitive and cheeky.


Four Antipodes Island Parakeets

Mar 212017

Our five Kaka chicks have now been named, by people who have helped us in various ways.

Following is a list of all the birds bred at Bush Haven since 2014:

The parents, of course come first – though not bred here – Hannah [after Hannah McLeod of Southland Times] and Casey [after the Casein Dept at Fonterra, Edendale who built the extended aviary for us]

First chick, 2014 – Rusty, a male after Russell Evans, Bush Haven founder, which went to Orokonui

2015 – Davy – after volunteer David Simpson- to Orokonui

Ollie – after May Evans, Bush Haven founder  [Olwen May], although a male bird – To Orokonui

Kathy – after volunteer & trustee, Kathy Morrison – to Abel Tasman Park

Mack – named by a special lady who wishes to be anonymous – to Orokonui

Dai-Thi – named by auction, by Kevin McKeown – is Irish for Nimbleness – to Orokonui

Mabel – named by auction, after a special lady at Papatowai, by Pene Gillette and locals – to Abel                Tasman Park. Unfortunately Mabel was later predated and died

Izzie – named by auction, by Tim Riding after his wee girl – to Abel Tasman Park

2016 – Kala – named by’Ink’, a special young Taiwanese man who volunteered with us – to Orokonui

Brayden – named by Daniel Cocker for his friend Brayden, both boys volunteer – to Orokonui

Betty – named by trustee & sponsor, Bruce Maher after his mother in law – to Orokonui

(2)        Iluka – after a special wee boy, named by supporters, Chris & Brian Rance – to Orokonui

Pollyanna – named by local supporters, Ann & John Fogarty – to Abel Tasman Park

Ellie – named by supporter, Edith Jones after her late Springer Spaniel – to Abel Tasman Park

Lani – named by Wayne Robertson after his daughter who comes to help – to Abel Tasman Park

Holly – named by and for Holly McKenzie, our latest volunteer who lives nearby – to Abel Tasman

There is also Lisa who went to Orokonui after our daughter and vet Lisa Stuart pinned her broken leg when she was hit by a car on Stewart Island in 2014. We decided it was better she remain somewhere that observations could occasionally be carried out on her rather than return to Stewart Island.








Feb 162017

Yesterday our five South Island Kaka chicks were moved from their parents’ aviary into their own temporary aviary where they will live for the next couple of months, before moving on to their release sites.  The four females will go to Project Janszoon at Abel Tasman National Park and the male will go to Orokonui Eco-sanctuary near Dunedin, where they will all eventually be released to fly free.

The photo shows the five birds settling in on the high perch last evening.  No doubt they will not be sitting together very much in the future as they investigate all the other perches and feeding areas in their aviary.  5 Kaka chicks

Feb 162017

A big thankyou to Edith Jones and Bruce and Barbara Maher for their continuing sponsorship of Bush Haven.  It is thanks to private people being so generous as well as corporate funders, that we can continue our work with the birds.  Bruce and Barbara named one of our Kaka last year, ‘Betty’ after a family member, and Edith will be naming one of the five this year.