Maui and Whetu
These were our first kiwi translocated to Otanewainuku. They were part of the captive kiwi breeding project and although the eastern taxa of the North Is brown kiwi, they spent their captive lives in Willow Park in Christchurch. We monitor the male kiwi using a radio tracking device which is carefully attached to his leg. When he incubates an egg the device senses this and changes the signal it emits. We can then estimate how many days he has been sitting.
The best time to remove the egg is around a week before hatching (around day 35). We wait until dark, some distance away in silence, until he leaves the nest for an evening feed.
Eggs are carefully removed, keeping them in the same position they were in the nest (a small pencil mark is made on the egg). It is crucial that the air sack is at the top (just as it is in the nest). A level is used to make sure the transport box is kept level on it's journey. Eggs are gently wrapped in a warm sock, and placed in a padded chilly bin.
We transport the eggs to Kiwi Encounter in Rotorua for incubation and care until they reach their release weight and size, when they are released into the forest.