Weka Watch files
Marking their turf.
Several pairs of weka are known to have established territories in the vicinity and one pair is raising its second clutch of chicks in less than three months.
However, nobody needs fear being overrun with wekas — they are fiercely territorial and, once a territory has been established, any trespassing birds will be seen off with swear words and attacks.
Older chicks, too, will be driven away as new chicks hatch.
Joe has just celebrated his third anniversary of freedom and we hope that he and his partner, Elsie, will shortly produce chicks.
Tarzan eventually had to be separated from Lily, the bird that we hoped he would pair with.
We fitted her with a radio transmitter and released her and she immediately paired with a lone male, Archy.
The radio signal now indicates that she isn't moving around, which hopefully means that she is nesting.
We will have to do some bush bashing to locate the source of the signal and the disturbance that this would cause could upset her if she is nesting. So we have to leave our investigations for a while.
Meanwhile, Tarzan is, yet again, getting to know another female.
In each aviary we have a "litter box", in which we tip grass clippings and leaf litter, as a place where the weka can search for natural food.
One of these boxes is apparently on the site of an old rubbish heap, dating back to the early days of Karangahake settlement, as the weka, digging with their strong beaks, have unearthed a number of "treasures" — bottles, a NZR hat badge, broken pieces from the face of a porcelain doll (identified as being of German origin, circa 1900), a crystal pendant (with birds etched thereon) and, the latest find, an antique gold earring.
This may be a lucrative sideline!