Saddleback spotting

With the recent translocation of 40 birds from Tiritiri Matangi, Shakespear Open Sanctuary now has saddlebacks (tieke).   These are noisy, friendly and attractive birds, which are often fossicking on or near the ground, so over time they will become...... Read More

Imagining a better world

A recent food symposium run by Auckland University warned of a hungry future for humanity because of our unsustainable local and global food production methods.  The comfort we live with in the western world comes at the expense, or with the benefit...... Read More

Sustainable living

Last year the Hauturu ranger’s 14-year-old daughter, Mahina Walle, did a case study on living sustainably on the island for correspondence school. I was so impressed with this essay that I wanted to share some of it. Mahina’s family have been...... Read More

Humans and hens

My garden is home to two brown shaver hens, Speckle and Shy. They are fine company in the garden, always keen on my weeding, chatting away and cute looking, and they lay eggs for me. Chooks have lots of character. They are wilful, destructive and messy,...... Read More

Keeping dieback out

The spread of the kauri dieback pathogen has created pressure on communities to do more to save the iconic tree species from relegation to isolated sanctuaries. There are only hard choices. Auckland Council has taken the brave decision to back up the...... Read More

Recycling headaches

For the last 20 years we’ve been learning how to recycle. We’ve developed social norms that have seen recycling become acceptable practice rather than just throwing everything to landfill.  Sometimes our desire to do the right thing and...... Read More

Dotterels stage a come back

Twenty-four New Zealand dotterel chicks fledged this season at Tawharanui, the most since the Sanctuary was established 16 years ago. Although the chick numbers are highest, the adult:chick ratio was lowered due to the fact that the pair numbers increased...... Read More

Brilliant bird

When our old cat died and wasn’t replaced, the birds returned to our garden. This included a pukeko clan. I’ve loved them ever since. I admire pukekos’ attitude – their  courage – and that they considered my garden part...... Read More

Challenges for hatchlings

Volunteering at Shakespear Open Sanctuary always goes quiet over the summer break, but the throng of visitors escaping the heat more than made up for it. Some days, Te Haruhi bay looked as busy as a beach in the South of France. The birdlife has been...... Read More

Coasts under attack

The best way to celebrate summer is to go to the beach. We’re lucky in Rodney and the wider Auckland region to have some of the best beaches and coastal areas in the country. The water’s warm, and the beaches are sandy, tree-lined, sheltered...... Read More