Our whitehead return was another celebration for Trustees, Volunteers, Friends and Supporters. Find out more by watching Ranger Adam Willetts' interview with BBC World News, or by reading the media release below.
Media Release 25 April 2017Whiteheads are returning to the Bream Head Scenic Reserve, bringing with them a bird song bonanza.Bird and nature lovers are already enjoying the increasing sight and sound of native bird species on this iconic Whangarei Reserve since the Bream Head Conservation Trust’s habitat restoration programmes began there 15 years ago. That includes 40 North Island robins (toutouwai) translocated there in April 2016, and from mid-May up to 100 whiteheads, or popokatea, to watch and listen for.[caption id="attachment_2759" align="alignright" width="360"]
A whitehead (popokatea) on Tiritiri Matangi Island (credit nzbirdsonline.org.nz).[/caption]These small, gregarious, white and brown birds are often heard before they are seen. Also known as bush canaries, they live in noisy, chatty groups that fill the forest with a tuneful cacophony of sound.“Releasing these sociable songbirds onto the Reserve has been in the planning for several years and comprises the final component of the Trust’s first five-year restoration plan,” says Bream Head Conservation Trust Chairman, Greg Innes.“They are part of a research project by Northtec environmental studies students who supported the Trust with last year’s toutouwai translocation which has already seen eight breeding pairs rearing 19 fledglings to independence.”Bream Head Conservation Trust Chief Ranger, Adam Willetts, says he hopes for an equally successful translocation with the whiteheads which haven’t been seen on the Reserve since they became regionally extinct around 140 years ago.“Building on, and alongside the work of the Department of Conservation, we have spent many years restoring the Reserve to a healthy, almost predator-free environment and now look forward to having popokatea re-establish there,” he says.A team of six Trust volunteers and rangers will travel to Tiritiri Matangi Island off the Whangaparaoa Peninsula in the second week of May to collect up to 100 of the birds. They form part of a larger capture team consisting of Tiritiri Matangi Island supporters and experienced reintroduction biologist, Kevin Parker of Parker Conservation.“The birds will be captured using audio lures to attract them into mist nets,” Adam says.“They will then be carefully measured and selected for relocation, banded for identification and housed in the on-island aviary where they will be well looked after and checked on around the clock.”Depending on the weather and capture rates, the team aims to leave Tiritiri Matangi Island with the birds early on Saturday 13 May. The birds will be placed into boxes holding up to five in total and transported by air conditioned van to the Bream Head Reserve, hopefully arriving between 1pm and 2pm that day.“The public is welcome to join us in meeting the birds on their arrival at the Bream Head Trust’s Operational Facility at the start of the Peach Cove track on Whangarei Heads Road, although the time cannot be guaranteed,” Adam says.“After a short ceremony and blessing, teams of volunteers will carry the boxes up the steep 40-minute walk to the release site which has spectacular views back to Mount Manaia and up the Whangarei Harbour to Limestone Island.“The site will provide a great setting to watch these canopy flock birds released as a large single group, and to celebrate this achievement together as we watch them fly off to explore their new home.”ENDSFor more information, or to confirm or be part of the popokatea release date, please contact:Adam Willetts on 0211557380 or email@example.comClaire Pearson on 0212507045 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Keep your eye out for the 2022 Te Whara Bream Head Trust newsletter. We've made some hard copies and they're available free of charge at locations around Whangarei Heads. If you're not in the area click See More to go to the newsletter page and you can download a PDF from there.
On Sunday the 11th of September, in the good company of many of our volunteers, friends and the Whangarei Mayor, we celebrated our 20th anniversary. It was the perfect moment to reflect upon what has been achieved over the years.
Bream Head/Te Whara Conservation Trust has appointed Tom Flynn-Plummer as our new head ranger. Tom will start in August and he is replacing Adam Willetts, our head ranger for the last eight years.
In May, a refresher training session took place for the Bream Head/ Te Whara volunteers working on our toxic bait lines.
While all attention is focussed on combating an epidemic, a group of grey-faced petrels (Pterodroma gouldi or Oi) had another successful breeding season at the Bream Head Scenic Reserve.
It’s been a tough twelve months all round the world but it hasn’t been all doom and gloom for the Trust.
Thanks to an anonymous donor, any donation you make to the Trust in the month of June will be tripled.
Beautiful Bream Head inspired calendars by local artist
We won a prize! Thanks to NRC for recognising us and all our volunteers for their hard work in earning it.
Conservation Minister our guest as Bream Head and Auckland University of Technology team up