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.


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.

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.

Apr 142016

In 2015, local builder Greg Barlow contributed his labour to re-roofing and rebuilding walls and doors in one row of aviaries at Bush Haven.  Greg enjoyed working here with the sound of the birds around and we certainly appreciate what you did for Bush Haven, Greg. Thankyou.

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

This Spring we have had at least three groups of parents bringing their chicks to our doors for feeding.  Either one or both of the parents have been released from rehab and have stayed around, causing us to ‘name’ them, Fawn jess, Zero [or black jess], and of course Lennie and Bubs.  You can tell it is a young one with the parent as they will only allow their partner or their own young to feed with them and there is quite a bit of wing-bashing.

There are  also a good number of young tuis and bellbirds coming to the liquid feeder, they sit in our Magnolia tree and wait their turn.  Easy to see at this time of year as the Magnolia is just coming into bud.