Bream Head Reserve from Manaia

The Birds Are Back In Town

April 9, 2016

If you’re a Whangarei Headian, a North Island robin, or a Michael Jackson fan then you need to get excited. Forty rockin’ robins are going to be reintroduced to Bream Head in the very near future as part of the ecological restoration of our wonderful home. We’re bringing back the birds baby!

north-island-robin

North Island Robin with a meal worm, or is that a leaf?

Is this a big deal? Heck yes. These fantastically friendly and sensational songsters went extinct in Northland early in the 1900s. You heard it right, their melodious tunes and foot stomping antics haven’t been seen or heard in this neck of the woods since before the Reotahi freezing works opened! Because they are so friendly and perhaps even a little naïve, introduced animals such as rodents, possums and mustelids sent them into local extinction. But together we’re blitzing the pests in Whangarei Heads and making their rightful home safe again – wahoo!

North Island robins managed to hang on in a narrow band across the Central North Island and on some offshore islands. So a bunch of local community members have been going bush with the Bream Head rangers and ornithologist Kevin Parker to feed up North Island robins in exactly these locations: Mangatutu near Lake Taupo and Tiritiri Matangi. The birds are getting used to us now, so we aim to collect 20 from Mangatutu sometime in April and another 20 from Tiritiri Matangi in May, and bring ‘em home. How cool will it be to once again hear the song of the robin and add another layer to the incredible story of Whangarei Heads restoration.

The post-release monitoring of the robins will be done through a collaboration between third year NorthTec Conservation and Environmental Management student Nathan Arcus, Bream Head rangers and whoever else wants to help! In fact if you do want to help us keep an eye on them in the Reserve, please get in contact with me or the rangers. We’ll take all the help we can get.

Ben Barr.