Nesting Ruru in the halo area
Courtesy of Olga and Kevin, both active members of Birds NZ, who are also active trappers, these photos of a nesting Ruru pair in their back yard as taken in September - October 2023.
"We live about 150 m from the Cornwall Park boundary in the halo of Maungakiekie Songbird. We started hearing the Ruru in our back garden in early August. We were also alerted by lots of bird alarm calls. The Ruru/Morepork started to investigate the nest-box around the start of September . The nestbox is based on a design used on Tiri-Tiri Matangi where we have volunteered for many years. We modified it further so it is dark inside and is hard for a predator to enter. We observed the birds mating in late September and the first egg was laid on the 6th of October and the second around the 9th of October.
The female Ruru sits in the box during the day whilst the male roosts in a nearby tree. At night both Ruru hunt mainly at dawn and dusk.
We have planted numerous trees over the years to encourage birds including the 10 m tall totara which the nest-box sits in. We suspect the Ruru have moved from a nearby developed section which had all of its large trees removed earlier in the year. Sadly a lot of mature trees have been removed by developers in recent years.
We have seen the Ruru catch mice, birds and insects in recent weeks. "
Bird seed winter collection Sunday 19 June 10-11am 2022
Help our little feathery friends with a top-up of food for your bird feeders. We are giving out bird seed cones and cakes for your bird feeders on Sunday 19th June between 10:00am - 11:00am in Cornwall Park. We will have a table set-up on Bollard Ave, about 30m into Cornwall Park from Campbell Rd.
Please register to secure your supply on the 'register' tab, or simply turn up on the morning. While we have good stock available and will do our best to ensure we are able to meet your needs, we can't guaranteed supply unless you register in advance.
Resource collection Saturday 21st May 2022
Our collection day on Saturday 21st May saw us move these events to Puriri Drive so we could easily link into the Cornwall Park nursery, where our stock is being looked after by the Cornwall Park nursery team.
A huge turnout on the day saw over 100 native plants given out, which will ensure there's great food and shelter in the years ahead for our little feathery friends.
Expanded Halo area October 2021
We're really excited to announce that from October we are able to expand our halo area to take in a number of streets south off Campbell Road, within the Maungakiekie-Tamaki local board area.
Communications will go out to households in the new halo streets in mid October.
The streets now included are;
- Clarke Road - Amaru Road
- Onehunga Mall (north of Clarke and Tawa Roads)
- Tawa Road - Mariri Road
- Moana Ave - Rawhiti Road
- Tawhiri Road - Kowhatu Road
- Horotutu Road (north of Kawau Road)
- Irirangi Road - Korokino Road
- Kawau Road - St Oswalds Road
- Te Kawa Road (north of Kawau Road)
Wasp trap lure trial - sugar water vs apple cider vinegar
Trail camera's available on loan basis
Think you have unwanted night-time visitors but unsure ?
Trail cameras work based on motion detection sensors. Set to either capture pictures (as on right) or video's, the cameras can be used to identify what's running around your backyard. Simply remove the memory card and view images in your PC/laptop.
As our example shows from a resident in Wheturangi Road, a trail camera was setup over New Years capturing activity around their recently installed possum trap. Several nights later a visitor checked out the trap and the end result can be seen.
From Gail, in Epsom - trial user February 2021
"I found a rat in a photo and positioned the trap in that spot - whammo!"
If you would like to trial a camera for 1-2 weeks, just drop us a line and we'll be in touch.
Rare native tree - Bartlett's Rata
Bartlett's Rata (Metrosideros bartlettii) is a rare specimen forest tree. Reaches maximum of 30 metres but in cultivation it more commonly ranges between 8-10m. Smallish white flowers (the only white-flowered rata species) Oct-Nov. Distinctive whitish, spongy, flaking bark. Attractive dark green foliage with steeply curved crown. Prefers good sun. An endangered species that would be a treasure in any garden or landscape.
Due to its rare status and our limited stock special criteria apply for those residents interested in receiving one of these trees. If interested please contact us and we'll discuss the criteria.
WASP Trap (new 2021)
The hanging WASP Trap is designed for backyard use to get rid of wasps.
Using just a sugar/water mix to attract wasps (this mix will not attract bees) it works by trapping then drowning them.
Easy to use and of course environmentally friendly. 100% natural.
Limit 2 units per household.
Removing unwanted Magpie's
Magpies are both a nuisance and a threat to public safety and native bird's so as a result we are assisting both Cornwall Park and local residents trap them for removal from the local area.
Maungakiekie Songbird have been happy to assist Cornwall Park by providing 2 cages to help with this trapping activity over the 2020/21 summer.
Onehunga Community News
An update on our project following the journey since the first article in October 2020 (pre-launch).
A big thanks to the team at the Onehunga Community News for their ongoing interest and support in helping to let the local community know of our project. With a distribution to 16,000 households it's a great way to get our message out.
Resource collection 13th Feb 2021
Another sunny summer day saw a great turnout from existing and new members alike to collect resources. The new wasp traps proved very popular with over 150 handed out to members.
Again a big thanks to our partners who supported us on the day; Jo from Cornwall Park, Mary and Ross from Auckland Council, Jordan from the Tūpuna Maunga Authority and Ben from Envirotools.
Biosecurity New Zealand - Protect magazine summer edition 2020
The magazine of the New Zealand Biosecurity Institute, summer edition 2020, has a 2 page story on Maungakiekie Songbird.
This magazine is widely distributed across the conservation sector in New Zealand so we are excited to profile our project, that may act as an initiator for other projects to replicate, or at least learn from.
LAUNCH DAY - Saturday 17th October - One Tree Hill Domain
A huge thanks to the near 300 residents who attended, and the support from our partners, to make this a great kickoff for our project.
Our flyers are out - Wed 7 Oct
After several months of planning it's exciting to see our first flyers being delivered to residents letterboxes today advising them of the launch of MAUNGAKIEKIE SONGBIRD with an invite to attend the launch in One Tree Hill on 17th October.
Onehunga Community News October 2020
A big thanks to Tim and the team at the Onehunga Community News for giving us a profile on p3 of the October 2020 edition of the magazine, distributed to some 16,000 homes and businesses around Epsom, One Tree Hill, Royal Oak and Onehunga. We appreciate your support.