Weka Watch filesweka watch logo



Rats and weka fight it out

We were told that weka would kill rats and it has been good to see some evidence of that.

We saw a rat, with fur and most of its tail missing, in an aviary containing five juvenile weka and a neighbour has reported seeing a wild weka "stabbing a rat to death and then dragging it away".

The present rat situation around the aviaries is not so good though. It would seem that a rat may have upset Bosley and Miranda's last effort at nesting as we found that one had tunnelled in, under a concrete path.

The fertile weka eggs were scattered and broken and Bosley was behaving strangely.

We captured him and noticed that his eye was damaged so took him to the vet for treatment, to prevent infection.

However, it seems that he has lost the sight in that eye, which is most unfortunate.

In the long term, we hope that this doesn't throw him off breeding.

Netting gnawed

Meantime we also have rat problems in other aviaries. A weka went missing and we found a tiny hole through which she apparently escaped. The hole was in woven netting, three feet above ground, and presumably made by a rat.

After increasing the height of galvanised netting surrounding all the aviaries, we then discovered new holes made higher up through the woven netting. Traps are set "everywhere" and we have caught five rats -but they keep coming.

We are unable to use poison in case a weka eats a rat killed by poison. We need more rat-killing wekas!

Further afield it's good to hear of wekas seen and heard. We like to receive these reports promptly so that we can plot the movement of individual birds.