Weka Watch files
Use beaks like hammers!
Weka use their beaks with much vigour to search for their food, moving anything that gets in their way to find tasty morsels hiding below.
With fruit, such as apples, they use their beak like a hammer to penetrate the outer layer of skin.
Occasionally we give Tarzan a rubber ball so that he can demonstrate this habit to visitors, creating some amusement as a hard stab on the ball will make it bounce away.
An unexpected stab on one's hand can also be a painful experience.
We recently had a young bird in the release aviary with a damaged and weakened beak and we were pleased to be able to transfer him to the Katikati Bird Gardens where food will be laid on for him.
Released into the wild, he would have had little chance of survival.
After not seeing Elsie, Joe's partner, for nearly six weeks, she reappeared and ate spaghetti with great gusto from the jar on our back lawn.
In the last couple of days, we've seen these birds mating and have seen Joe carrying nesting material away.
We hope that their nesting is successful this time, as presumably their last effort failed to produce chicks.
Incubation is 25 days and waiting for results is a lesson in patience.
There are recent signs that our breeding pair may have hatched chicks as broken eggshell has been found in their aviary.
Meantime, the ongoing saga to make Tarzan happy again continues.
For several weeks we have had a young bird, Lily, with him.
When we visit the aviary he is inclined to terrorise her, but we think that this may be all show, as we don't hear shrieks of distress from Lily on other occasions.
The real test will come when we move these two back into Tarzan's original aviary.