Blogs

Life at the Hut

Ranger Hut on Whenua Hou/Codfish Island

12 April 2014

 

Life at the ranger hut is both routine and extrordinary. Every person on the island works very hard; long hours and often through the night and day. The rangers repair, fix, maintain, catch invisible birds, health check, replace transmitters, track, babysit volunteers and do so much more. They are men and women of great endurance, strength, dedication and knowledge.

 

Location

Whenua Hou Island, Southland, NZ
New Zealand

Hot Chicks!

Artists for Conservation

12 April 2014

 

Yes, that's right. HOT CHICKS!

 

Unseasonably warm and fine weather on Whenua Hou has brought sun-loving people outdoors, sandflies in numbers, and minor inconvenience to the babies in the rearing unit.

Contrary to everything known about baby birds, and to incubating and hand-rearing baby parrots, Kakapo chicks need to be...COOLED! Kakapos are adapted to cold temperatures, and as the chicks grow and are able to regulate their own temperature, warm weather can bring stress.

Location

Codfish Island, Southland, NZ
New Zealand

Nest-minder Dr. Pat!

Artists for Conservation

Over Night, 11-12 April 2014

Nest-minder for the night!

The sweet sounds of moorpork owls and kakas singing in the night, soft wind in the rimu trees; gentle mist and a little hard rain. What could be closer to paradise? A mother kakapo and her chick, of course!

Good news and bad news--I loved this opportunity but I knew it would be hard on my out-of-shape-fat-postchemo-no-endurance body. Luckily Darryl was kind, forgiving and understanding and we made it to the nest site (without stroke or heart attack) just as Huhana left for her first foraging of the night.

Location

Codfish Island, Southland NZ
New Zealand

Arrival at Whenua Hou!

Artists for Conservation

11 April 2014

Arrival! Hoki mai!

At long last, the day has come to depart for the beautiful sanctuary island of Whenua Hou.The day dawned clear and cold in Invercargill, open skies with whispy cirrus clouds. No wind!

 

The first stage was arrival at the quarantine store, where all gear, persons and supplies were minutely inspected for seeds, soil, rodents, insects and other contamination. The entire process for 2 volunteers was about two hours.

 

 

Location

Codfish Island, Southland, NZ
New Zealand

The 14th Flag Expedition


As I write this, I am looking out across the Foveaux Straights, on the far south of the Te Waipaunamu (South Island) of New Zealand, whilst sitting in the kakapo rearing facility on Whenua Hou/Codfish Island. It is cold and windy, the sea choppy with whitecaps. Freezing on the outside but warm in the heart.

Location

Codfish Island, Southland, New Zealand
New Zealand

The 14th Flag Expedition

Artists for Conservation


As I write this, I am looking out across the Foveaux Straights, on the far south of the Te Waipaunamu (South Island) of New Zealand, whilst sitting in the kakapo rearing facility on Whenua Hou/Codfish Island. It is cold and windy, the sea choppy with whitecaps. Freezing on the outside but warm in the heart.

Anticipation and Anxiety

Artists for Conservation

The 14th Flag Expedition (me!) is scheduled to depart the dusty Sonoran Desert in the first week of April, 2014. Arrival to be in the Southern Hemisphere, green and wet, a different season, a different hemisphere, a different date. The plans are in place, the arrangements made, the permits secured--yet the wait is fraught with anxiety as well as excitement.

"Art For Animals" inspiring Africa's children through artistic endeavors to care for their wildlife.

Artists for Conservation

Several years ago in a remote dusty village in Zambia I was sitting on a log drawing the village and its surroundings when a shy young girl sat next to me intent on seeing what I was doing. Within minutes she was joined by 20 or so others all scrambling to get a better view. It was then that I realized not only were these children mesmerized by my materials but also by the emerging animals I was drawing. I handed out pieces of charcoal and paper from my sketchpad indicating they could have a try.

The boys are a-boomin’ the girls are a-choosin’, and the season is a cruisin’!

Artists for Conservation

There were rumors, late in 2013, that the precious rimu trees might produce a good crop this year. On Whenua Hou, the available rimu mast is what triggers females to have a good breeding season. And indeed, somehow the males are attuned to this chord: the boys were a-boomin' this year!

A Kakapo Adventure

Artists for Conservation

kakapo-natural

In early February 2011, I was between bird patients on a busy and slight irritating day at Arizona Bird Clinic. I needed to check email for some pending lab work on a little patient. I saw a message from the Kakapo Recovery Team. Naturally I thought they were asking for money...

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