Spring is here.
There has been a change in the behaviour of some of the weka pairs; not appreaing as often and not being seen together. Tipene and Sheila have been one pair like this. This weekend Sheila was seen taking small pieces of cheese up into the bush rather than scoffing them on the spot. This is what we call ‘carrying’ and it means that she and her mate have small chicks to feed. Cheese is an energy dense food so is a prized find.
An update on the Good Nature automatic resetting traps.
Last month when we wrote about our trial of these traps we said: It is early days and at time of writing we have not had any success though we have photos of possums taking a keen interest in them. Our trial possum trap has now been installed and operational for 6 weeks but don’t hold your breaths! The camera that takes a photo of whatever approaches the trap has yeilded some interesting data. 43 photos in total, and 17 of them are of passing possums. But none of these 17 possums was caught by the Good Nature trap. In the meantime the Timms trap set on a neighbouring tree has caught 2 possums one of them a whopper weighing over 3 kg! (And 6 male possums have been caught in that Timms trap since the begining of June.) To test the new trap further we have to eliminate some variables. We should fix the two different possum traps side by side on the same tree and use the same lure/bait in each and see what happens. An even more interesting result is that of the 43 photos 23 (more than 50%) are of domestic cats and the other 3 are of goats. No weka have been ‘caught’ by the camera in this time.
Remember WekaWatch has a Timms trap to lend to residents bothered by possums. We will help you to set it up to ensure it is weka safe. Contact us by email firstname.lastname@example.org
Why are we Weka Watchers?
If you asked any of us why we volunteered to be weka watchers, each of us could give you a different answer. Is it because we are enchanted by these rare and fascinating birds that have walked into our gardens and our lives? Or is it to meet new people, to feel useful, to get fit by walking the trap lines? To help reverse the damage people have done to the land and its native fauna, to take part in the Predator Free New Zealand project in a small way, to make a difference to the world, to do something! WekaWatch has plenty of tasks for volunteers other than trapping and counting and there could be one for you. We have jobs for people with computer skills, cooking skills to feed the counters, marketing and writing skills and even artistic skills as we try to fill more blank walls with weka art.