31 August, 2009

Pukaha Mt. Bruce

A few weeks ago we visited Pukaha Mt. Bruce with my sister, her husband and their two little boys. Pukaha Mt. Bruce is a Department of Conservation reserve, specifically set up for the purpose of captive breeding in order to preserve the kiwi, our most popular native bird. The reserve also looks after other native birds and houses the elusive tuatara.

It was difficult to take pictures of the birds as they were amongst bush and too far away, but I will show you some pictures we did get.

These are not birds (obviously!) but the children all found the eel feeding interesting. These NZ native
long fin eels swim all the way to Pacific waters near Tonga to spawn. The larvae return to NZ in the ocean currents. They only breed once in their lifetime and are considered to be a threatened species.

Undoubtedly, the highlight of our day was the Kaka feeding. The kaka are a cheeky native bird and are lots of fun to watch at feeding time.
They were fed a spread of jam-water, fruit, nuts, veges and seeds. The kaka know to come to the feeding area at 3 pm each day. We arrived there just before that, and not long after between 30 and 40 kaka came swooping into the feeding green from the trees around us. They would swoop right across our heads into the feeding stations.
The kaka are known as the "clowns of the forest" as they bicker over their food and tumble through the trees, hanging from their feet or bills. They were lots of fun!

A kaka nesting box.

The Takahe are a funny looking bird. They have beautiful bright coloured feathers and came out for viewing this day!

There are less than 200 of these flightless birds left in New Zealand.

These little New Zealand natives are also quite cheeky, and love to spend their lunchtimes rolling down hills ;-)

I must give credit to Bethany for most of these photos.

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