Fairy Tern Newsletter December 2017
In this issue:
Fairy tern news - strange blue substance; Volunteers; Fishing study; Events: Kowhai festival; School visits;
Fairy Tern Newsletter June 2017
In this issue:
Fairy tern news; Thanks; Scarves; Fish study project; Te Arai; Wardens’ reports. Read more >>
Fairy Tern Newsletter February 2017
In this issue:
Fairy Tern Newsletter December 2016
In this issue:
Fairy Tern Fundraising Christmas Concert
Please note: Correction to Fairy Tern newsletter: the event at Bennetts is on 16 DECEMBER not November! Click here >>
Fairy Tern Newsletter August 2016
In this issue:
Mangawhai Matters Meeting March 2016
Please click here for names and brief bios of the speakers who gave their time to speak at the recent Mangroves Matters public meeting in Mangawhai.
Fairy Tern Newsletter March 2016
In this issue:
Fairy tern news. Mangawhai mangrove meeting 19 March. For Sale.
Convenor's Annual Report 2014-2015
Click here to read the report in pdf format ( September 2015)
Our NZ Fairy Tern voted Seabird of the Year
It's our Tern.
Click here to read more details from Heather Rogan, Convenor, New Zealand Fairy Tern Charitable Trust
New Facebook Page
New committee member, Ria, has created a wonderful Facebook page for the trust. Check it out by clicking on this link: NZFTCT on FaceBook
NZ fairy tern Population
An August 2014 update from David Wilson, DoC Ranger, Warkworth: From “the Kaipara wader census and other fairy tern sightings, and taking into account [earlier] sightings also I now make it 39 birds seen since the beginning of April.”
Membership renewals are due in August
Unless you have joined since April 1, 2014.
The Trust is reliant on our members for its ongoing existence and we are very grateful for your interest and support.
2013 -2014, a RECORD breeding season !
Twelve New Zealand fairy tern chicks fledged this season, a record number since the protection programme began in the 1980s.
Good weather and the great support of the Mangawhai community all helped as well. Let's hope for more successful seasons ahead!
Reg Whale, chief trapper taken by Sioux Plowman
The truly astonishing trapping totals:
Mangawhai and Waipu Area updates 2013-2014 breeding season
from DOC Trainee Ranger,Briar CookAs of January 2014:
The Mangawhai chicks have kept Rangi very busy over the holiday period by pulling disappearing acts, avoiding pursuit, and swapping parents. Cheeky!
NZ fairy tern chick caught for banding
Rangi (DOC warden, Mangawhai) and David, with assistance from PJ ((DOC warden, Waipu) and volunteers, have successfully banded eight of the nine fairy tern chicks at Mangawhai.
Two chicks have taken exception to the interruption and shifted south of their original nest site, but are otherwise in good nick.
The ninth chick ducked and dodged DOC staff, then disappeared for a worrying couple of days, meaning Rangi spent Christmas morning hunting for a very well-camouflaged ball of fluff in a vast area. The chick eventually reappeared in a different nest site, already home to two chicks. It is reaping the benefits of being fed by both of its original parents and the foster parents in the new site, who don't seem to mind an extra mouth to feed!
Waipu's Matilda has also been banded and is making short flights around her nest site. In a surprise move, the second Waipu pair that nested at Mangawhai this season (infertile eggs) has returned to Waipu and been snapped copulating in their home territory. There may be more of the season to come yet.
Banding a NZ fairy tern chick
Most of the chicks have begun to fly and soon volunteers and wardens will be able to catch a well-earned breath.
We are coming out the other side of the silly season and with ten chicks still happy and healthy, things are looking good for the fairy terns.
NZFT joins the Colgate Games
At the North Island 2014 Athletics NZ’s Colgate Games, (to be held in Whangarei January 10-12, 2014) all 1054 young competitors will be wearing a t-shirt with a logo that includes a New Zealand fairy tern. Thanks to our patron, Audrey Williams who organised this, children from all over the North Island may ask what the bird is on their t-shirt! Thank you Audrey and Athletics Northland!
Below is their letter head, also thanks to Audrey:
To read more about the Forest and Bird project to enhance a possible NZ fairy tern breeding site on the Kaipara Harbour, click here >>
To see a chart of the minimum current NZFT population
Breeding results summary for 2012-13 season:
Five sites combined
Total eggs laid: 15 (known)
Eggs hatched: 6
Chicks fledged: 5
Number of breeding pairs: 8
The story from Lyn Whale, Secretary of the Te Arai Dotterel Care Group:
TE ARAI BEACH COMMUNITY WELCOMES NEW RESIDENTS
No corporate castle needed for this endearing little pair that arrived at Te Arai beach to prepare for and raise their chicks. Home is a simple scrape in the sand. Two eggs later and the community of Te Arai were very excited about the prospect of New Zealand’s rarest endemic breeding bird, the New Zealand Fairy Tern, once again breeding on Te Arai beach after an absence of approximately 20 years.
The community, supported by the Department of Conservation, began a timetable of nest minding while the department arranged for and made an appointment of a full time warden for the beach for the breeding season. Sadly this is one love story that did not have a happy ending. Late one evening the eggs, which were well on the way to hatching, mysteriously disappeared. No tracks or prints were found, but the on-site camera had been tampered with, suggesting human intervention.
A successful concerted effort of trapping predators has been in place at Te Arai over the last six years, with volunteers also putting up fencing to protect nesting shore birds and talking to beach users about the needs of our endangered species. Te Arai enjoys the protection of the Wild Life Act and so is therefore a no dog beach all year around and under Auckland Council by laws is a no vehicle beach.
Te Arai Dotterel care group would like to thank members of the public who stay out of the fenced off areas and remind dog lovers that there is a designated dog exercise area at Te Arai Point car park.
A spokesperson for the New Zealand Fairy Tern Trust said that it was inevitable that fairy terns would return to breeding again at Te Arai. As populations re-build they will seek out more sites and Te Arai is an obvious choice. More sites also provides greater security against extinction as it spreads the risk of predator invasions and storm effects on nesting birds.
Footnote: Shortly after the Te Arai NZ fairy tern eggs disappeared, dotterel eggs also vanished from a site nearby and this time footprints were seen leading to the nest!
NZ Post Issue Fairy Tern Coin
Each year New Zealand Post issues an endangered species coin and last year’s coin. launched February 23, 2012 featured the New Zealand fairy tern! The coin may be purchased from Post Shops or on line. To purchase coins, read more here
All proceeds from a Trade Me charity auction for the No. 43 Proof currency set were donated to our trust.
Thank you, New Zealand Post!
Breeding ground reports for 2011-2012
As of 20 Jan 2012
Photo/ Ali McDonald
The trapping group have been doing well with trapping records showing mid to high number of rats and 2 cats have been caught on the refuge so far with no cat prints being seen by the wardens.
A lot of people are ringing in advising the presence of stoats and ferrets.
The trap boxes have been loaned out to people in Waipu for trapping purposes. During this period it is not uncommon to see these pests hunting during the day.
As of 20 Jan 2012: There are two fully fledged chicks at Waipu.
At Pakiri, two eggs hatched on consecutive days, December 3 and 4.
As of 20 Jan 2012: There are two fully fledged chicks at Pakiri.
We have two chicks at Papakanui which hatched perhaps Sunday, December 4 – bad weather made it hard to tell.
As of 20 Jan 2012: Unfortunately both chicks were lost in adverse weather and there has been no re-nesting.
As of 20 Jan 2012: Re-nesting has produced two chicks. Harriers are causing a few problems so DOC staff and volunteers are undertaking a harrier watch from dawn to dusk.
First egg for the season was laid byWilma ( in her 19th year of life) on Saturday October 29, 2011 and is the earliest recorded laying at the Papakanui site. The previous earliest date for a full clutch at Papakanui is November 2.
A NZFT specialist with other observers notes:
Fifty per cent of all first clutches recorded by wardens this season contained only one egg even though half the male birds involved in these clutches are experienced, capable foragers. Perhaps there was a paucity of NZFT prey items early in the season?