Bill’s birds doing great

One of three tui chicks rescued last year after being thrown from its nest has been spotted feeding in the Glenview area, close to where it was released.

Early last November a Glenview resident contacted Waikato Regional Council’s Hamilton Halo team after finding the three fledgling tui on the ground on his property.

The rescued Rob says thank you Bill!
The rescued Rob says thank you Bill!

Following the discovery, Gordonton’s bird rescue expert Bill Smith reared the energetic trio at his home, alongside flocks of other species, ahead of their release into the wild last December.

In the past week, the Council received a photo of Rob, a banded tui taken in the backyard of Fitzroy local. It has since been confirmed as one of the birds rescued and rehabilitated last year.

“It’s so rewarding when you know all your effort has paid dividends down the track. This bird will be out mating now and helping boost the breeding population,” Mr Smith said.

Council biodiversity officer Therese Balvert said it was an exciting discovery. “It’s great news that at least one of these birds has survived and is doing well. It’s also encouraging that this tui has apparently stayed local to where it was released.”

Ms Balvert said residents could expect to see increased tui activity over the next two months. “For those birds nesting in the city, you’ll start to see them repeatedly flying to and from the same location carrying debris in their beaks.

“Over the rest of this month and during October you can also expect to see some courting, when they sing high up in the trees in the early morning and late afternoon. Display dives, where the bird will fly up in a sweeping arch and then dive at speed almost vertically, are also associated with breeding.”

Waikato Regional Council is keen for Hamilton residents to report sightings of tui, as well as bellbirds, kaka and kereru, on the council’s website.

“We’d especially like you to tell us if you see tui exhibiting nesting behaviour,” Ms Balvert said.

Hamilton Halo is working to increase the survival rate of tui chicks at key breeding sites surrounding Hamilton through pest control of possums and rats. The project also seeks to improve tui feeding and breeding conditions in Hamilton.

STORY:  Waikato Regional Council

Read Number 8 Network’s profile on Bill Smith here.

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Number 8 Network - a community website for the rural areas northeast of Hamilton, NZ, is run by Gordonton journalist/editor Annette Taylor.

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