Oats, bananas and oxheart are among the tasty treats on the menu at Whangarei's bird recovery centre, thanks to the arrival of four new baby birds.

Two 6-week-old Australian harrier hawks, a 4-week-old tui and a 3-week-old brown kiwi are the latest guests at the Native Bird Recovery Centre - though they stay in different lodgings, manager Robert Webb said.

The two hawks were discovered in forest near Helena Bay by a farmer going on a bush walk on December 23. "They normally have their nests in the raupo grasses or in the rushes at the edge of farms. They must have been frightened off and run into the forest and got themselves lost."

While the birds are currently "about as big as a seagull", they'll grow to have a 1m-long wingspan, he said.


In the wild, hawks tend to enjoy dead possums and rabbits. "If they are hungry they'll try and catch chooks and rabbits live, but they do prefer the dead stuff."

But at the centre, the pair have been enjoying a diet of "neck-chops from the butchers".

Mr Webb anticipates releasing them in around two month, back to where they were found.

The 4-week-old tui, which has yet to grow its white bib, was delivered to the centre after it was dropped into a Kerikeri vet by a member of the public.

"It gets very spoilt - oats, banana, orange, Complan drink [milkshake]. They get nothing but the best of food," Mr Webb said.

The tui - who would normally eat flower nectar or aphids - will stay at the centre for another three weeks, before it is released back in Kerikeri.

The kiwi came to the centre from a Department of Conservation reserve as an 320g egg at the start of December, which hatched on December 23.

"He's quite a gingery little male. He gets a bowl of food every night - oxheart meat cut up fine."


He currently weighs 260g, and once he reaches adult size at 400g, he will be able to go back to be released on DoC land, Mr Webb said.