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Joe's a changed weka with Amy!

Our matchmaking succeeded!

We suspected that "Joe" and "Amy" had paired and were nesting by Joe's changed behaviour.

We kept a food bowl on the lawn and Joe took food during the day but not at night, as he had previously done. It is usual, when nesting, for the male birds to do the night shift.

We didn't see Amy for five weeks. When she reappeared, she came to the food bowl and carried food away. She did this several times, as did Joe.

There was great excitement when we first saw their two chicks, which were the about four weeks old.

The parents have continued to carry food away. This tests our ingenuity as we try to beat the sparrows, blackbirds and waxeyes, all on the lookout for easy food.

Most successful is a jar containing pasta, covered in water, too deep for the small birds to reach the food.

Joe now seems to beg for treats and he stands while we throw him the odd piece of cheese, crust or chicken bone and then he runs back to the chicks with it.

Our matchmaking has also been successful with a young pair of birds we sent to a breeder in Napier in June. They are now raising three chicks.

Locally, we still hear birds calling from several directions, including two pairs, one of which may be breeding.

We have had two reports of sightings of weka in the Rotokohu Road area and so things are looking a lot more promising after two years of disappointments.

In our aviaries, Nelson and Emma are raising three chicks and Bosley and Miranda have one chick.

There have been a number of visitors to the aviaries, and more expected, including two distant schools in February.