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.


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

Dec 292016

We have been so lucky this past year with volunteer helpers, several secondary schoolboys on Saturdays and Sundays, plus two wonderful ladies who come Wednesday and Thursdays..sometimes both when helping weigh Kaka chicks.  As well as that, they do feeding out and aviary cleaning, seed winnowing and moving logs in and out of the Kaka aviaries, to name just a few of the jobs they help with.  Photos show two of them.


Holly, our latest weekday helper


Ink, our Taiwanese Sunday helper, now away


Daniel, Caleb and Brayden

Our thanks to all of you, we have really enjoyed having you here for your own sakes, as well as the work you do. Sadly we will not have Ink here again on Sundays, but hopefully the rest of you will still consider helping at Bush Haven an important part of your lives in the future. We wish Ink all the best for his future studies in Tasmania.

Dec 292016

We now have tee shirts for sale, only a few sizes at present..medium and large child’s which should fit about a size 14 and 12, also sizes small and medium adult which are about the same width but longer..these should fit a taller size 12 or 14, or small and medium adult. Child shirts are $20 and Adult shirts are $25 each.  See pattern in the following photo, which is three of our schoolboy volunteers, who were very proud to show off their new shirts.


Daniel, Caleb and Brayden, three volunteers in their Bush Haven tee shirts

Oct 262015

Our South Island Kaka pair successfully hatched their four eggs between 24 and 26 September, and so far they are all doing well. We try and give the parents a good selection of food each day, both in the morning and late afternoon, so they have always got plenty of choices available.

The male bird is not allowed in the nest, but regularly feeds the hen, which also takes food for herself.  When we check the nest through the removable door, the hen sometimes has a look at the chicks from that angle but is not very worried about us looking at the chicks, or even handling them which we did recently when putting on some colour bands. The photo shows the hen, Hannah actually feeding one chick while they were out.


Shortly we will take some feather samples for dna and will then be sure what sexes of birds we have.  The males will again go to Orokonui Ecosanctuary near Dunedin and females to Abel Tasman Park with Project Janszoon, near Nelson.

The previous birds are all doing well in their respective areas, the males out flying free but the female still in an aviary at present, awaiting a transmitter.

Sep 072015

On Sunday, 6 September four eggs were seen in the nest of our South Island Kaka.  With luck they are on their way to producing several more chicks for either the Orokonui Ecosanctuary or the new Project Janszoon sanctuary in the Abel Tasman National Park, where substantial pest protection is being carried out.

Apr 112015

As earlier reported, three more Kaka chicks hatched around 14 January and we fed the parents up large and checked the chicks regularly.  The first photo was taken around three and a half weeks, with colours starting to show.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We weighed the birds at around four weeks and again at and again at around 10 weeks and they were all well over the 500 gram mark, which is very good; judging on their weights we think we have two males and one female so they have been banded with plastic colour bands, and named Davy, Ollie and Kathy respectively.  Orokonui staff have stated they don’t mind if we named the chicks, so we thought we would do so after our helpers, although Ollie is more of a nickname. 

From 13th March, chicks began to come out of the nest singly, going back in at night for a few days, until on 18th March all three chicks were finally seen out of the nest, but keeping very close to another nest site.  This photo shows the three together, one in the back and two in the foreground. Three chicks out of nest
After a few days keeping close to their nest, the chicks started flying around the aviary and now it is very difficult to get them sitting close enough for a photo.  However this one shows Casey [Dad] on top of a cage protecting a growing tree, inside the aviary where the three chicks were gathered.  Three with Casey on cage
I have managed to get all three chicks together but owing to the light available, not the best photo – still it is all three chicks together, and I am an amateur photographer!

Three chicks in tree

 We have decided to keep them here over the winter but they will be going to Orokonui later in the year, along with the three birds raised at Te Anau this season.  A great boost for South Island Kaka! 


Jun 282014

Just a reminder to all Otatara people of two special nights coming up soon! You should have had a flier through the mail about these as well.

The first, is to celebrate 10,000 hours of work at Bushy Point, successful pestbusting, Native Bird rescue and much more with a family night of Piping in and addressing the Haggis, a meal of Haggis, neeps and tatties; BYO dessert to share and BYO drinks and glasses. There will be a short film, plus slide show, tea/coffee and a chat, and assistance where you need it.

Friday, 4 July 2014 – piping starts at 6pm, at the  Otatara Community Hall, Dunns Road. Gold coin donation.

RSVP by Tuesday 1st July to brsmith@callsouth.net.nz or rances@ihug.co.nz

The second evening is for Otatara History and Memories in the Otatara Community Church, Oreti Road at 7.30 pm, Monday, 14 July. Please bring a small plate of food to share for supper.

If you have any old photos, maps, diaries, other memorabilia from early Otatara days please contact Lloyd so he can include it in the evening’s programme. Please name any items so they can be returned to you. Please also contact Lloyd if you need transport for the night.  Phone 2130404 or email esler@southnet.co.nz

Apr 132014

Last year we sadly lost one of our female kaka who died of lymphoma.  When we asked the Department of Conservation for a friend for her there was none available but that there might be a male available to try and breed with her.  As she had already laid infertile eggs we thought this would be a good idea and would add to the number of kaka needed to eventually release into sanctuaries, both at Orokonui and the Nelson Region.

On inspection, it was found that our kaka aviary was far too small for a pair of birds to breed in, according to new DoC guidelines, so we were pretty down in the dumps for a while as we are now on pensions and there is no spare money to build aviaries, especially of the magnitude required.

We placed an advertisement in the local paper for deer gates, thinking it would be a cheap and fast way to build an aviary extension. An enterprising reporter, Hannah McLeod, thinking of a good human interest story, phoned us and we agreed to let her run a story requesting help. Graduate Environmental Officer Sean Spencer from Edendale Fonterra phoned and suggested they have a team-building effort to build our extension.

The upshot of that is, that the Edendale Fonterra Dairy Factory Casein Department are financing and building our aviary extension.  However this has been a drawn-out process because the men doing the work ended up having to stay at work longer than anticipated for the season and the aviary is not yet completed.

The team of mainly seven men under the guidance of Paul Branks have now been here sor several days intermittently and are ready to put up the netting. They have been enjoying listening to the birds while working, and the team-building is going really well too. The men have enjoyed the sight of several kereru being released and are really surprised at the work we do with injured native birds. 

Unfortunately with the work taking longer than originally thought, we will not have our male kaka before we go on holiday so the female is still lonely, as she has been now for several months….. WATCH THIS SPACE!

Following the newspaper story, we also received several offers of assistance, and donations of money from several people, including:

 Bruce and Barbara Maher

George Bell

Glenn Brown

Edith Jones

John and Elva Barnes

Brian and Chris Rance

We also received a pipe frame from Craig Cruickshank, which had been over a boat, and Russell, along with friends Randall Milne, Dave Simpson, Dave Whelan and family Colin Evans and Peter Stuart has now converted this frame into a second aviary, for use by young kaka if the pair eventually breed, or alternatively as another kereru or large parrot aviary. This was made possible by using Rudnev panels provided by Chris Richardson. and Alliance Company, also by donations of other construction items from Archer Construction and Goldpine Timber, Fogarty Engineering and Daniel Wijkstra plus the purchase of items at discounted rates from Steel & Tube, Blacks, and Allied Materials.

We have also received several kind offers of help or equipment, which have not been taken up,  from 

Graeme Robertson

Jade McConachie 

Eric Laughton

Ross McKenzie

Ollie Halleux

Colin Miller

Rob Green

Gus Inon

Fraser Mackie

Len Diack

We still need to do some tree planting after our holiday so may yet call on you!

A BIG THANKYOU to everyone who has supported us in this endeavour.