Bird News – Breeding 2021/22

Another breeding season is coming to an end and it’s been a successful one too. So congratulations to everyone involved in looking after the local environment and helping our endangered endemic birds find a safe haven on the Hibiscus Coast.


A male and two female pateke/brown teal took up residence on the lagoon again this year and both females produced young. The earlier brood consisted of four ducklings and a later one of three (sadly reduced to two as of 11/2/22).

Mother and her four ducklings. Photo by Martin Sanders.

Unfortunately none of the tuturiwhatu/NZ dotterel produced any chicks despite a number of nesting attempts by the two resident pairs. A pair of torea/variable oystercatcher nested on the point. Their first nest failed but they persevered and a second nesting attempt produced two chicks.

Torea parent and chick. Photo by Pete Townend

Karepiro Beach

The tuturiwhata/NZ dotterels fledged one chick quite early in the season and the torea/variable oystercatchers also produced a single chick despite the nest being very close to the edge of the roped off area. It’s now the size of the parents but you can tell it’s a juvenile because its beak is a dirty yellow with a black tip rather than the vibrant orange of the adults.

Okura shell bank

The tuturiwhata/NZ dotterel pair finally managed to produce a youngster after the last couple of years when their nests kept getting washed away. They build them so close to the high tide mark that it’s a wonder they produce any young at all. Two pairs of torea/variable oystercatchers nested on the shell bank and one of them successfully raised a single chick. The other pair abandoned their nest for no obvious reason. Perhaps they were just young and inexperienced.Juvenile tuturiwhata/NZ dotterel chick

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