kakapo: 13 nests, 29 eggs, 15 confirmed fertile

love is in the air…

The frenzy of kakapo breeding activity continues on Whenua Hou/Codfish Island with the discovery of new matings and nests an almost daily occurrence.

Last night, kakapo rangers found two eggs on Heather’s nest, which were candled – a light shone into them to see if a chick was growing inside. Excitingly, both are fertile.

Also last night, a single egg was finally spotted in Ellie’s nest, which is yet to be checked for fertility. Ellie was conceived on Little Barrier Island in 1999 – her parents are breeding gurus Lisa and Ox. This is the first time she has mated so is an exciting time, particularly because she’s a bird hatched and initially raised in captivity. She has two sisters, Aranga and Hauturu – Aranga, also a first-time mum-to-be, has three fertile eggs but Hauturu has not yet mated.

To date, the egg tally is 29, with 15 fertile, excluding Lisa’s one fertile egg that died only days before it was due to hatch. Every fertile egg is a potential chick and offers high hopes for new additions to the kakapo population, currently at 91 birds.

source: kakaporecovery.org.nz: ranger’s diaries (article by deidre mussen)

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