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.

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

Jan 292017

The first photo shows Kathy helping weigh one of the latest Kaka chicks.  Not the best photo of Kathy, but the best I have at present. These photos were taken at the end of December when the colour bands were put on the chicks for identification. They were also weighed as usual and considering there are five, weights are pretty good compared with other clutches.

Kathy Morrison with kaka chick

Kathy Morrison with kaka chick

Russell with banded chick and dad Casey on shoulder

Russell with banded chick and dad Casey on shoulder

It is now several weeks since they all emerged from the nest and the chicks are doing well. Personalities starting to show and occasionally one will land on a helper or visitor.  We now have confirmed by dna tests, that there are four females and one male this time. Helpers, friends and sponsors will be naming these chicks in due course.

Dec 292016

The five chicks emerged from their nest log over the past few days and are spending time climbing, or just sitting beside the nest, or even going back into the nest sometimes.  We weighed them this morning and weights are a little down on previous clutches, but the parents have after all, reared five this time.  I hope Hannah and Casey take a rest now but they will do what they want.  The photo is of the five chicks a week ago, last time we managed to get them all together. While we do have colour bands on them, we are waiting for dna tests to be completed at Massey to be sure what sexes we have this year.

Five chicks on 15 December, 7-8 weeks

Five chicks on 22 December, 7-8 weeks

Dec 012016

Just a short update, the chicks are doing really well at 5-6 weeks, all putting on weight.  The photo shows them in a tub after weighing this morning.


Five chicks at 5-6 weeks, youngest in the back

Nov 192016

So far the five chicks are doing well and their weights are comparable with other seasons, although we were a bit worried about the little one being five days later hatching than the others.  However it appears to be doing okay at present.  Picture shows the five in bucket after weighing last Thursday. They age from 2 weeks 5 days,  to 3 weeks 2 days.

5 chicks in bucket

5 chicks in bucket

The smallest one is front left. My hand is there to show sizing.

Nov 062016

Hannah and Casey have really done it this time with five chicks hatched, between 25 and 30 November.  We will have to keep a close watch on the youngest one to ensure it is well fed with so much competition from the bigger chicks, but so far they are all doing well.

Kaka chicks

Kaka chicks in nest


Youngest chick at a week old

Apr 142016

On Tuesday, 5 April the two female kaka, Izzie and Mabel flew to Nelson courtesy of Air New Zealand with one female from Te Anau, Mighty Whitey. On arrival at Nelson they were transferred by helicopter to an aviary near where they will eventually be released into the Abel Tasman Park to live free.

On Wednesday, 6 April the two male kaka, Daithi and Mack were taken by car to Orokonui Ecosanctuary, and released into the holding aviary there.  Later in the week they were joined by four more males, from Dunedin Botanical Gardens and Te Anau, and when ready the staff will release all six young males together.

We are privileged to be able to assist the wild population of South Island Kaka and hope all our birds live safely to old age.

Mar 252016

The auctions on TradeMe to name three of the four South Island Kaka chicks at Bush Haven, which are now nearly six months old, raised $710 for the Trust. This will mostly be used to provide food etc for the parents and the next clutch of chicks, which are now two months old, having just fledged recently.  There are three birds in this clutch, we think one male and two females, but their dna has not been checked yet.

The following photos show the four birds with their colour bands on, prior to being permanently banded.  The two females will be going to the Abel Tasman Park on 5th April, along with two females reared in Te Anau, and the males will go to the Orokonui Ecosanctuary soon afterwards, where they will get their permanent bands.

The first photo shows red, aka ‘Mack’ who was named by a friend who wishes to remain anonymous. It is a great example of how parrots hold food with their claws while eating.


Next is blue, aka ‘Daithi’ pronounced Dah-hee, which is Irish for nimbleness, as chosen by Kevin McKeown..thankyou Kevin


Next is yellow, aka ‘Izzie’, named after his wee daughter by Tim Riding…thanks Tim.


Last, but not least, is green, aka ‘Mabel’ named by Penelope Gillette and others from Papatowai..thankyou everyone.

Green band

And after many shots taken, I finally managed to get one of all four together which I can identify them all in and is reasonable quality. I am very happy with this as it shows their colours well.