March 31, 2012
Wow where has the time gone?! I can’t believe so much has happened, and I haven’t done a kiwi update since January. My only excuse is that I have been very busy with kiwi happenings.
Omana, our little girl is over 600 grams and doing very well. She is like her sisters, fairly independent and knows her own mind. Omana was named by the New Zealand Ambassador and his wife, the honorable Mike and Yvonne Moore. We hope they get to come soon and meet her, but they are very busy especially with Christchurch earthquake relief work. She is a very beautiful bird and the future plans for her will involve a trip to Europe, probably in the fall. The Berlin Zoo is excited to have her join them, where there are several males that are good candidates for her when she grows up.
Our second chick of the season hatched on March 7 and is a very healthy and bouncing boy! I was hoping for a male, and I got my wish. Though he does not have an official name yet, I have nicknamed him “Pip”, as he was a very lively guy almost from day one. Within twenty four hours, when I would come to weigh him, he would shuffle over to the door of the isolate and try to jump out to me. He is very sweet natured and really seems to enjoy being with people. He reminds somewhat of Manaia, though Manaia was a wee bit more laid back. The other unusual behavior that Pip did for the first four or five days was he would go to sleep on his back in my hand. I have never had a kiwi chick do that before, really too cute and funny. He actually did this with several other visitors we had!
I have to say this one went right to my heart. The other funny thing about Pip is he talks even more then Hiri did; he always has something to say. Pip also has his future home picked out for him. He will be going to the Antwerp Zoo, where there is a young lady that has been waiting for a boy from our kiwi for a couple of years. The curator and staff at Antwerp are over the moon and think he is a beautiful bird (always the right answer). Pip has made a lot of friends at the Zoo who have come by to visit with him.
I hope by the time this goes to press that the kiwi cam will be fixed and all of our kiwi friends can enjoy watching our newest member.
The other exciting news is that the Columbus Zoo kiwi pair produced two fertile eggs, one which went out to our SCBI and the second egg went to Central Park Zoo (NYC). Both eggs made the trips to their future homes without incident. Central Park Zoo sent four staff members down to spend a day with me to learn about kiwi egg incubation and kiwi chick care. At that time our second egg was still in the incubator, so the staff got to handle Omana and the egg.
Both of these eggs have now hatched. The egg at SCBI hatched on March 11 and is another boy. This male nicknamed by the staff out there “Pokey” (as their first look at him was his bill poking thru the shell) is very active and squeaky boy. Both Pip and Pokey are now eating and gaining weight. The SCBI staff is very happy to have this experience with incubation and now rearing a chick. The pair at SCBI are in breeding condition, and we are hoping for good news on that front soon.
The staff at Central Park are all breathing a little easier now that their chick has hatched and looks perfect. We don’t know the sex of their chick yet, but hope to know in another week or so. Now they just have to get through the next part of the normal weight loss and then the feeding. They have all fallen in love with their first kiwi but how could you not? Kiwi chicks are adorable, each one is an individual and quite unique.
All of our other kiwi are well. I am putting together a kiwi bio page with a picture of each our kiwi (including SCBI). This idea actually came from a kiwi fan. I hope by the summer to have this put together and edited for the web, so stayed tuned.
The only other kiwi hatch outside of New Zealand happened in early January at Frankfurt Zoo, a male from one of their established pairs. Unfortunately the fertile egg from the new pair from New Zealand did not make it--the embryo died early on. So that was a disappointment, but at least now we know the pair is a match and that is great news.