Inside the Kakariki Nest Box- Laying to Fledging

This series of little videos documents a kakariki nest in one of our nest boxes during the summer and autumn of 2021. Those of you who have been watching the live stream will see that it is not working any more, firstly because the link failed (no fault of the provider Teleport) at a late stage, and secondly because the chicks have fledged. I will try to compile a time lapse video from the 74,000 still images stored at Teleport- computer upgrade needed first and global chip shortage will mean a delay, yada, yada. In the meantime, these videos were taken from the SD card on the camera. Sometimes this page does not load properly on my phone. If you are having problems too, please keep trying because it mostly does work. I suspect the page is too big- let me work on that.

This is the pair of kakariki/yellow-crowned parakeet we are watching in their nest box. White-Orange is a young female bred at Tui Nature Reserve and released in October 2019. The male is unbanded, so is either island-bred or has chewed his plastic bands off.

6 Eggs as of 31 January. Only the female incubates. The camera is filming in black-and-white here, from ambient light, but it switches over to infrared at night. There is seldom enough light for it to switch to colour. The birds did not react to the camera except when it was put in. They had a look for a moment and have ignored it since. They will be able to see two faint red lights from the 850 nm infrared LEDS. The LEDs do not heat up the box.
Three newly hatched chicks and one which failed to hatch. This is 18 days after the clutch was completed, which is what the literature says, but the female was diligently incubating right from the first egg, yet they hatched in a group over a day or so. She is feeding the chick regurgitated veg and seeds or fruits. She is fed by the male nearby when he calls her off the nest. She is calling before she gets in the box, and you can hear the chicks at times also.
The female takes food from the male and tries to feed the chicks at the same time. There are four now as at 19 February. I was surprised when the male started getting into the nest box, I suspect because he can, as opposed to a natural nest hole which might be smaller.He also took to roosting in the box at night until the chicks got a fair bit bigger.
4 March, around 13 days after the last chick hatched. All four are growing strongly and are quite a handful, as this supposedly peaceful night-time roosting clip shows. The female is now out of the nest for prolonged periods as both fetch food for the chicks.
6 March. Daytime feed.
10 March. Both parents are fully occupied finding and bringing food.
11 March. A bit of peace for a change. The female is no longer brooding the chicks.
15 March. The female is now roosting outside at night.
22 March. There are now only three chicks. The biggest one died on 16 March, going from apparently healthy to dead in 30 seconds. On advice we introduced a low perch for the chicks to assist with their development. The mother took serious exception to it, so we removed what was left of it.
2 April. The first chick fledged successfully on 31 March and I have since moved the camera a little to show the entrance and exit hole better. This is the second one to fledge and the one left looks a bit agitated about it all, then a bit bereft. We took the opportunity to band the chicks while we were there.
2 April. Not to worry. A quick feed from the mother and then off. Flying strongly if downwards.

Fauna Recovery New Zealand Migrating to WordPress

Wondering what happened to our newsletters?

Our website faunarecovery.org.nz is now hosted on WordPress. The revamp is to coincide with our much greater emphasis on the Puangiangi Island restoration project from now on, and my retirement which means no more IT Department to manage complicated websites. The template chosen is designed to be easily readable on mobiles, tablets, notebooks or PCs- let me know if there is anything you need done with readability (apart from changing “program” to “programme”- sorry Ruth, Barbara et al., no can do). If you are a regular user of WordPress you will be able to add this site to your reader, or you will be able to follow updates by email by subscribing using the button at the bottom of the menu. This will eliminate the need for our newsletters and allow for longer-format articles. Thanks for reading, Barry Dent.