February 28, 2012
As you all know by now our newest kiwi has a name and the consensus here is we are all really pleased with it. She is named after the area where the Honorable Mike and Yvonne Moore (New Zealand Ambassador) hail from.
The park has an intriguing name, Omana which is a shorthand version of O-Manawatere ("the dwelling place of Manawatere") a Ngai Tai pa site in the park. Ngai Tai tradition records that this ancestor travelled from the Pacific homeland not by canoe, but by gliding over the waves on a Taniwha.' (beings that live in deep pools or the sea, often depicted as dragons or serpents).
Omana is now over 525 grams, not quite doubled her hatch weight. Omana was moved to her new mouse-proof enclosure that was custom-built for the zoo’s kiwi chicks!!! I know you are all anxious to see her in new home (as I am) but we have to wait for the IT folks to catch up to us. So the kiwi cam for now is focused on our newest kiwi egg which is progressing nicely. I think we will see a mid-March hatch but as most of you know until we get very close to the hatching it’s just a great guess.
Several items of interest are happening on the kiwi front. First Columbus Zoo did not have room for kiwi chicks this yea,r and since kiwi do not read the script for what there is room for, the Columbus pair has produced two fertile eggs!! Which is great news for some other kiwi zoos including our own SCBI group. The kiwi team there picked up the first fertile egg at the end of January and are now incubating the egg at their place. This will give the folks at SCBI a chance to get their own experience in kiwi incubation (which is different from other eggs) and rearing their own kiwi chick. I think this egg will hatch toward the end of March. They are very excited (so am I).
Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS, formally the Bronx Zoo, which includes several smaller zoos, like Central Park Zoo, CPZ) got their first two male kiwi last year and they are really gung -ho to get into kiwi big time. So when Columbus Zoo produced a second fertile egg I contacted them and asked if they would like to try their hand at kiwi incubation and chick rearing. It didn’t take long to hear back with a resounding yes. To this end CPZ sent down four keepers to spend a day with me and our kiwi and get some hands-on experience with our egg and chick. I think they came away with less stress and feeling they can do this!! Their staff has some great experience with incubating some very rare and endangered bird species and even though kiwi are bit more intense I am positive their staff is up the test!
Which if all four kiwi eggs (including the one in Frankfurt Zoo) hatch, we will actually have more than 50 kiwi outside of New Zealand, whew!!!
All the rest of our kiwi tribe continue to be in good health and active normal kiwi (well of course except for our very sweet natured Manaia, who is an exceptional kiwi)!