Oct 142013

On 7 August this year, Miriam McClure of Wearmouth Street, Waitahuna, a small South Otago township, drove 175 kilometres to Invercargill to bring an injured tui to Bush Haven. The bird had a weak leg and couldn’t stand up very well but had been checked by the local vets as having no broken bones. Miriam phoned us and decided to bring the bird down as there was no-one any closer to care for it.

We kept the bird in a heated box in our hospital area for a week, with antibiotics in case of any underlying infection. After that time it went into a small cage, and very quickly into an outside aviary, where it soon started flying strongly.

As the tuis in the area at Waitahuna were feeding well on the local trees we wanted to take the rehabilitated bird back to its own area, where its song would be the same as the other birds, so arrangements were made for us [May and Russell] to take the bird back. It was fitted with a numbered, silver metal band on its left leg as we believe it was a female because of its weight and on Monday, 23rd September we made the trip.

At Waitahuna we were met by Sharon Bayne and Miriam, with other family members, who treated us to a fabulous lunch after we had helped to set the tui in a small cage in the ‘feeding tree’ on Sharon’s property.  That night they took the cage inside and the next morning, put it back in the tree and at 9.30 am with the pupils of Waitahuna Primary School all watching with excitement, the tui was released back into her area.



The photos show – the tui in cage at release site, pupils of Waitahuna School, and finally tui back at feeder the next day, where she was seen for several days before disappearing to find other feeding and hopefully stay healthy.

Thanks to Miriam, Sharon and everyone concerned, a lucky tui lives for another day.

Jul 032013

The next evening in the Otatara Landcare Group Winter Series is at 49 Bryson Road [Bush Haven], at 7.30 pm on Monday, 8 July 2013. If you’re having trouble with animal pests, this is the evening for you! Come to the downstairs lounge, there’s lots of space.

We’ll start off with a light-hearted pest animals quiz and then hear about how to cope with rats, stoats, possums etc in and around your house; an update on Pestbusters and the work being done at the South Otatara Reserve. There’s a raffle for 2 rat tunnels and supper – all for free!

If you don’t live in Otataa, you and your friends are still most welcome.  Spread the word with your neighbours, bring along a friend too.

Any queries, phone May 2130530 or Sally 2131403.  

Jan 242013

Once again, Otatara School children have been fundraising to assist us in looking after injured birds.  Around Christmas we received a cheque from the sale of bird feeders and we are very grateful for this money.  We intend to put it towards our shelter area which will progress later this year.  It is great to have the support of our local school children and parents.

Nov 152012

On Wednesday, 23rd October 2012,  a large group of children, parents and teachers from Waverley Kindergarten visited Bush Haven.  They were escorted around the property, shown the hospital facilities and given a comprehensive narrative about some of the birds in care, and the other native and exotic birds.

The children and adults were told of the threats to the kereru such as window strikes and being hit by cars, also about how fireworks can be such a threat to all our native birds.

This is the second year that Waverley have brought their children here so they must enjoy the visit and judging by the comments made by the adults, they all thoroughly enjoyed it as well.

We hope they all gained some knowledge of the bush and the birds in Otatara.

The photo shows the group as they came onto the property off the bus.



Apr 242012

Research in two North Island forests show what conservationists have long been concerned about – see Nik Hurring on Facebook  for the story, or www.stuff.co.nz/environment/4839962/Forests-dying-as-kereru-numbers-fall

See how important it is for all to be aware of the kereru’s place in our environment.

Apr 152012

Bush Haven recently hosted two school groups who viewed the birds and enjoyed their visit. The first was Otatara School, where rooms 9 and 12 and two teachers, plus the bus driver were shown over the property by May and given lots of educational tips by Russell.

The second group comprised several parents plus teachers from Tuturau School and they were shown around once again by May with Russell showing them the care routine inside the house.

We hope to have some photos later on – especially of some of the lucky people who were able to go into the Kaka aviary.

Mar 252012

On Sunday, 25 March 2012 we received a visit from a special young man – Jack McKenzie aged 11 from James Hargest Junior High School had, as part of a school project, played his trombone – busking – in several parts of Otago and Southland and collected $80 which he brought to Bush Haven to help care for the birds.

This was such a special surprise and we would like to thank you most sincerely Jack.Also Florence, who we believe also helped with the busking.  Didn’t realise that before.

See photos of Jack busking, with Florence and Dad, and presenting the donation to us at Bush Haven.

Mar 212012

We welcome groups of visitors to view the parrot collection and the birds in rehabilitation, on Wednesdays or Thursdays during Autumn, Spring and Summer between the hours of 10.00 am and 3.00 pm, to be arranged by phoning 03.2130530.

A gold coin donation per person would be gratefully accepted towards the cost of feeding and housing the rehab birds from groups other than schools – we do not require any donations from schools, as we believe we owe it to the birds to help educate young people in their importance and care.

On the property you will be shown wood pigeons [kereru] and tuis if they are in care in various stages of rehabilitation, and the reasons they are in care will be explained.

You can also view the collection of parrots, both native and exotic, including South Island Kaka and red and yellow-crowned Kakariki.

Easily accessed toilet facilities available, and viewing areas are wheelchair friendly. Plenty of off-road parking space available.

Mar 212012

Many birds come to Bush Haven after striking / flying into windows.  If the window breaks you have a large payment or small insurance claim to replace the window – the bird generally doesn’t have terric injuries as the window takes the brunt of the impact.

However if the window does not break you will see an imprint of a bird’s body and wings and the bird will almost always receive severe bruising to its chest, at the very least.  If it hits more on its wings it can break a wing; it can hit so hard that it breaks ribs, punctures the crop or upper stomach area, suffer head injuries etc etc.

The birds can simply drop down, dead.  They can sometimes fly away and go to ground later, to be prey for cats and dogs if not found.

Birds hit windows because the light at certain times of the day shows them either a clear pathway through [reflecting sky] or a clear path into trees [reflecting bush or trees]. They generally won’t fly into a close area if they can see another bird already there.

I have given you suggestions of how to catch the bird, but to prevent window strikes, you can purchase a crystal transfer to affix to the window.  These cost $15 which includes postage in New Zealand and on the inside of the window, they look tasteful and will last for many years.  

The following photo is of an older ‘model’ transfer.  The present one is not so detailed so is therefore not quite as expensive.  It is inside an A4 size.

Bush Haven has these transfers for sale so contact us or send a cheque to May & Russell Evans, 49 Bryson Road, Otatara R D 9, Invercargill 9879.

Mar 192012

If you see or hear a small bird hitting a window it will either fall down dead or fly away and you will never find it.

If you see or hear a kereru or tui hitting a window, chances are it will either be stunned and go to ground somewhere close, or it will go to ground, dead.  Sometimes kereru manage to walk away under a bush, or fly away but they very seldom manage to stay flying for very long.

They are generally bruised, sometimes ‘just’ in the chest, sometimes in their crop or upper food chamber, which can actually burst and will need to be stitched by a vet.  Sometimes they break ribs – see gallery photo – and sometimes they receive head or wing injuries.

Immediate care is – take a light piece of material such as a tea towel and drop over the bird, pick it up and place it in a box such as a cat carrybox or similar size, lined with newspaper.   If you can’t get it straight away, check again before nightfall and you will have a good chance of picking it up in the near dark. Get the bird to Bush Haven as soon as possible. You do not need to phone Department of Conservation or SPCA first, so long as it is a kereru, tui, bellbird or kingfisher.

If you are unable to take the bird yourself and need to phone for pickup, place the bird in a warm, quiet place until pickup but DO NOT DELAY, birds seen within the first hour have a much greater chance of survival – just like humans.

It is not enough to give the bird a dish of water or some food and pop it into a corner somewhere – it needs professional care, sometimes fed by tube as a bird feeling sick or hurt will simply sit there, and not eat or drink if food is left for it.