2007-08 breeding season for the North Island robins at Windy Hill and
Glenfern sanctuary has been much less successful than the previous
season when 23 fledged birds were banded at Windy Hill and 11 at
Glenfern. The extreme weather conditions right at the beginning of their
breeding in July and August resulted in some birds disappearing and some
birds starting to breed in poor condition having been a bit beaten up by
the high winds. What must it be like for tiny birds, like they are,
trying to protect themselves in such conditions?
More nests than usual were abandoned and higher numbers of infertile
eggs lain. Predation from morepork took a number of chicks at Glenfern
with rats also taking two nesting females. Just 2 nests out of 17 were
predated by rats at Windy Hill but only 2 pair remained at the end of
the season with three spare females looking about for lost mates.
Nevertheless eleven young fledged and were banded at Windy Hill and
possibly two fledged at Glenfern. It is hoped that some of the young
males from this season will make up these pairs for next season at Windy
Hill as has happened in previous years.
Robins were identified at Mt Hobson early this year showing how far the
young disperse. The odd un-banded bird also has turned up at Windy Hill
which means that some birds are successfully breeding outside the areas
managed for rats.
Plans are underway to bring in a ‘booster’ bunch of robins from Mokoia
Island in Rotorua in 2009 —single translocations are often repeated to
increase the level of breeding birds that ‘stick’ in the release area
and to foster genetic diversity.
Keep an eye out for robins—if you can get close enough to see if they
have coloured bands, they are read from top left leg down, then right
leg down. Call either Tony on 091 or Judy on 306.