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.


Feb 182016

Three TradeMe auctions began on Wednesday, 17 February to name three of the four South Island Kaka chicks, bred at Bush Haven, which will soon go away to Orokonui Ecosanctuary and Abel Tasman Park [Project Janszoon].

Group of three

One other male Kaka has already been named, Mack. He has a red band.  The Kakas to be named are banded blue, green and yellow, blue being a male and the latter two, females. Photo of green follows. She is very mischievous and not easy to photograph.  Other photos on the auction pages.

Green band

The successful bidders will each receive a 25 minute dvd showing the chicks’ progress from hatching to being moved into a separate aviary after fledging, plus footage of the parent birds, Hannah and Casey feeding.  Also an 8 x 10″ coloured photo of ‘their’ chick.

All money raised by these auctions will go towards the care of the parent birds and other chicks. These birds are very important as in both sanctuaries they are helping increase the wild population of South Island Kaka. Nationally, it is believed there are only around 5,000 Kaka left in the country.

Links to these auctions are:, 1035650623 or 1035655791.


Nov 072015

The chicks are now six weeks old and parents Hannah and Casey are eating well, and in turn keeping the chicks growing and now getting their feathers.  Weights are all now over 600 grams but this will probably drop later on.  We took feather samples for dna but our guess is two boys and two girls.  Photos show, firstly the chicks in the nest, a bit dark but worth a look.


Next photos show Hannah feeding one of the chicks in a holding box after being weighed, and then one of the four chicks, showing colours coming on their heads.  They are quite used to being handled now for weighing, and we also replace their nest material regularly.





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.

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.

Jul 132015

On our return from holiday recently, we were very surprised by a letter from a lawyer with a cheque for a large sum of money donated to Bush Haven. Along with our usual grants, this will see Bush Haven thrive for several years in the future and is so much appreciated we can hardly find words to say anything except THANKYOU SO MUCH.   

Our benefactor wishes to remain anonymous and will be coming to visit us when the weather is a bit warmer to see Bush Haven personally.

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!