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Tarzan pines for lost mate

Tarzan, the crippled weka, eventually fell "in love" again, this time with Kokiri.

Since his first partner died we had tried four females with him before he accepted Kokiri. This taught us that there must be pair compatibility for breeding to succeed and would explain why some of the pairs in the breeding aviaries may have failed to produce chicks.

Tarzan's relationship with Kokiri was a delight to watch! His attention to her and his persistence in feeding her all the choicest food was quite amazing. And then Kokiri died.

Poor Tarzan called pathetically for her for about four weeks, mostly between 5am and 6am. Finally, we couldn't tolerate it any longer and moved him further from the house.

This move helped him - and us - considerably. Now he is surrounded by other birds and has new ground to explore. Three of his new neighbours are young females and shortly we hope to introduce him to one, with our fingers crossed, of course.

The devotion which bonded pairs of weka show their partners is something which astounds us. When our original male bird took ill, his partner stood over him (comforting him?) with her neck rested across his.

More chicks have hatched outside of the aviary and, because we know their whereabouts, their food supply is able to be supplemented.

Another pair, a bit further from the aviary, is also known to have produced more chicks, their second clutch that we are aware of.

Joe still visits us regularly but we've not seen his partner, Elsie, for three weeks. On that occasion she was frightened and chased by a visiting cat. We're trying to be positive about this, however - they could be nesting!