Many of our volunteers are not just “ours” – they volunteer at other projects as well – Mototapu, Oakley Creek, Orangihina, Ark in the Park – to name just a few! And some volunteer at Birdcare Aotearoa, which is the only place in Auckland where you can drop off an injured or sick bird, or in these times: fledglings and young chicks. They do a sterling job with professional vet staff and many many volunteers – and never enough funding. Because every bird on average costs about $100 in food, time and shelter, it is in their and the bird’s benefit to get them back in nature as soon as possible. Some birds will be fine when you just open the cage and let them go. Others need a “soft release” – staying in an aviary at the site where they will be released, to find their bearings while they still get fed. After a week or so, their door will be open but food is still provided, in case they need it. Some birds just head off, others hang around the aviary for a while until they find enough food elsewhere.

Last year we had a ‘hard release’ of three banded rail (mohu pereru) see more here, which was very exciting, plus many grey ducks and even a grey teal. A trial of a ‘soft release’ was done with two matuku moana (white faced herons) which went well – they grew significantly in the week they were with us and took off confidently. Last week we’ve received another guest to our aviary, another young matuku moana which we’re feeding now. The food is a specific mix of (frozen) sprats, marinara, a mouse and a day-old chicken… which was what he received at Birdcare. After two feeds it turns out he isn’t a fan of seafood though – Marjolijn, one of our volunteers who feed him twice a day, noticed he wasn’t a seafood fan: he picked up a piece of marinara and threw it down in disgust!

Let us know if you’re interested in taking care of birds and would like to help out in one way or the other. And walk quietly near the aviary when you have a sneak peek of this very fluffy specimen…

Best, Annalily – 0212207136 or

Below some pictures of our first ‘set’ of matuku moana and some snaps of our current guest.