Traditionally after flockmating and forming new pairs, Shore Plover can take some time to get into the swing of things and will quite often only produce 1 or 2 clutches in their first season together. However, after quickly establishing 2 new pairs in the spring, staff were pleasantly surprised that both new pairs, named Jamie and Jacky and Malcolm and Sally, began nesting earlier than expected. Both pairs went on to produce 3 clutches of eggs over the course of the season.
These clutches combined with those produced by our 2 proven and reliable pairs, led to a record number of chicks hatched over a season here at our facility. As a bonus, 2 ‘leftover’ birds from flock mating were force paired together and late in the season have hatched a single chick that they are currently raising.
As an extra bonus, our most reliable pair Henry and Emie, have laid a very late 4th clutch of eggs which have just hatched recently. This is quite unusual as Shore Plover typically begin their postbreeding moult after producing a 3rd clutch in captivity.
From 41 eggs produced this season, 37 chicks successfully hatched which is a great outcome for everyone involved. The first cohort of 18 birds was recently released onto Mana Island off the Kapiti Coast with a second release to follow in late March. This is the first year of releasing onto Mana Island since 2013, with the aim to establish a self-sustaining ‘insurance’ population to help secure the future of this species, alongside the previous release site on Waikawa Island together with the remaining wild population located on the Chatham Islands.
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