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Birds' futures in balance

With the welfare of the weka that we are holding our main concern. we continue to wait for the Department of Conservation to decide on the birds' future.

The island being investigated for their release continues to dangle before us like a carrot in front of a donkey.

Meantime,we have to make practical decisions, and so it was with reluctance, and with the thought that I would not have to cook so much spaghetti for hungry chicks, that we decided to give up our breeding pair.

This also freed up more space for the birds that we are holding.

They have been transferred to an aviary in Titirangi and the pair from there, Wai and Te Puna, who were not breeding, came to us for eventual transfer to the island.

We become very attached to our birds and Wai and Te Puna's "minders" also gave up their birds with reluctance. Wai was very tame and a real "character".

We put Wai and Te Puna in an aviary close to the house but the novelty of hearing other birds calling, especially at night time, seemed to make them very vocal and so, after a few sleep-disturbed nights, we decided to move them.

We caught Te Puna and then we got a shock to find that there was no trace of Wai! We realised then that he had somehow escaped and all the noise at night had been him and Te Puna calling to each other on opposite sides of the aviary netting.

When "bonded", these birds become very attached to their mates.

We set traps and, thankfully, on the second night, we recaptured him. On reuniting him with Te Puna. it was gratifying to hear them greeting each other. We had "satisfying words" to say too!