Date: 24 April 2009
Sure, they're not ducks, but the North island robins that were released at Moehau two weeks ago seem to have taken to their new home well - just like water off a duck’s back, in fact.
“It has been great watching them settle into their new home - I was watching a bird last week – it flew down to the ground, found a weta, ate it, then found another and stashed it” said Lettecia Williams, MEG chairperson.
"Translocating the robins didn’t finish with the release of the birds on Moehau – this is an ongoing project” says DOC’s Wendy Davies, Project Manager. Over thirty volunteers from Moehau Environment Group (MEG) have been working with DOC staff collecting information for the sound anchoring trial being carried out by Waikato University as part of the project.
The sound anchoring trial will provide information about the effectiveness of using pre-recorded audio taken from the birds home habitat to ‘anchor’ the birds to their new habitat. The trial was completed at the end of April and interim results are expected from Waikato University later in the year.
“What we do know so far is that the two translocated populations have met, with one bird from the Port Charles release site being seen in Stony Bay and one from Stony Bay seen to Port Charles” says Lettecia Williams, MEG chairperson.
“Of the 60 birds released 35 have been seen since, and we continue to get new robin reports. If anyone sees a robin it would be great if they could take note of the location as well as the birds leg band combination, a robin report card is available on the website, as well as from local DOC offices which outlines how to read the bands” says Lettecia.
The next stage of monitoring will be of the robin’s breeding season. Results of all the monitoring projects will be posted on the projects official website, www.doc.govt.nz/toutouwai as they come to hand.
The reintroduction of the birds is part of the ecological restoration on Moehau, recognised as one of the region’s most ecologically significant sites.