Apr 132014

On New Year’s Day 2014 we received an SOS from the DoC office at Stewart Island and later that day we collected a young Stewart Island Kaka from the Invercargill Airport. The bird was checked that evening by our trusty vet, Dr Lisa Stuart who was pretty sure the bird had a broken left femur. We decided to keep her warm with plenty of fluids until 3 January when Lisa could arrange to operate at the Kennington Vetco clinic.

She did some research and decided to pin the leg, which was carried out as planned, after xrays, with Russell assisting as well as vet nurse Holly. The operation went well and the bird came home to Bush Haven with a plastic collar around her neck to stop her interfering with the external fixator attached to the pin through the bone. The bird was then on cage rest so that she couldn’t move around too much, while getting used to using the leg. As well as fruit, seed etc she was fed Kaytees formula with fruit juice from a syringe  which she took really well into her beak. One of her favourite foods was sow thistle.

After four weeks the  bird was xrayed again and although not 100% straight, it was found the bone was healing well. At around this time we sent away feathers for dna and proof that we had a female bird was welcome, so naturally she had to be called Lisa, after her special doctor!

On 14 February a further xray was taken and the pin was removed as well as the collar and our special bird continued her rehabilitation in her cage. Another few weeks saw her into a suspended aviary where she could climb around and further strengthen the leg, start to fly without landing on hard ground.

On 7 April we caught her and brought her inside for the night, then next day took her past Dunedin to the Orokonui Sanctuary where she went into an aviary for more flying training. She will be released into the Sanctuary when the staff at Orokonui think she is ready and we hope Lisa has a long and happy life up there.

Being a Stewart Island Kaka she will bring different genetics to the population and will hopefully breed when she matures. Because she was a young bird we decided on this result rather than going back to Stewart Island, also because there would be more supervision in the Sanctuary.

Jan 242013

On Tuesday, January 22nd 2013 three kereru were released from Bush Haven, after successful rehabilitation from injuries.  One, bearing black jess number 4 on its right leg, was brought to us in late October, by Emma Marshall and children, who were pleased to view its release.  The bird had suffered beak and neck injuries and healed well.

Another bird, now bearing black jess number 5 on its left leg, was picked up at a house in Robert Street in November after hitting a window.  It suffered the usual chest bruising.

The third kereru, bearing black jess number 7 on its right leg, was brought to us by Tracey Langmuir and had split its crop after hitting a window – the crop had to be stitched up by the vet and it healed successfully with a lot of new feathers.  The bird had been gorging on lacebark and the full crop probably protected its chest from internal damage.

Thanks to local people for caring enough to bring the birds to Bush Haven.  We have several other birds in care, some still to be released in a few weeks’ time.

If you encounter a kereru on the ground and it isn’t able to move much, or if one hits your window and lands on the ground immediately afterwards, it needs to be brought to us as soon as possible – don’t wait for the next day, it may be dead!

Apr 152012

On Saturday, 14th April we released three kereru.  One was also released on 22nd March and the other three would have been released earlier but Russell had some health problems himself and we weren’t able to observe the birds sufficiently at that stage.

The three released this time flew off well into the trees and were obviously happy to be out of the aviary.  We left it open overnight but none of them were seen around the next morning, which is a good sign.

These birds, along with others released between April 2011 and now, all have a red ‘jess’ on one leg, which covers a numbered metal band for identification.  The red denotes their year of release for our records should any of them come to further harm, or just be seen and if this happens it would be good to have their sighting reported to us.

We didn’t photograph any of the birds this time as they were released within a few minutes of each other, but singly, not in a group.

Mar 252012

On 10 February 2010, 20 Canadian visitors staying with local Friendship Force members together with their hosts, viewed three kereru leaving the aviary at 49 Bryson Road.

These birds were banded and had a yellow numbered jess on one leg.

One of the tourists took a great photograph of the birds leaving.  




Mar 252012

On Saturday afternoon, 11 February 2012 in front of Frances from The Eye, several local people and 16 German visitors being hosted with Friendship Force members, four rehabilitated kereru were released at Bush Haven.

The first three birds flew out rapidly and the fourth took its time, but finally left.  All birds were banded and carried a red ‘jess’ on one leg for identification.

Mar 212012

On 6 November 2010 an Open Day was held at Bush Haven to promote the products for Pestbusters and to release three kereru which had been in rehabilitation.

Southland Times photographer, Robyn Edie took a brilliant photo of the birds flying out, managing to also get Russell and some of the people gathered round in the photo.