Many Northlanders are lucky enough to be able to hear kiwi calling from their homes and now they have the chance to learn how to tell the difference between the calls of male and female birds.
Kiwi listening stands are popping-up at markets across the Bay of Islands throughout April and May to give aspiring kiwi listeners information about how to contribute to kiwi preservation efforts, including learning the difference between male and female kiwi calls.
Kiwi call counts will be happening in June and July and, in the lead-up to this, local community conservation groups are on the lookout for potential kiwi listeners.
The annual kiwi call count helps estimate the kiwi population in an area and provide baseline data to the Department of Conservation. When calls are monitored in the same place over several years, it helps build a picture of what is happening with kiwi numbers and distribution.
Five community conservation groups will be having stalls in markets across the area. At their stalls, Bay Bush Action, Russell Landcare Trust, Mahinepua/Radar Hill Landcare Trust, Puketotara Landcare Trust and Hupara Landcare Trust will be giving the public the chance to find out what a kiwi looks and sounds like.
Visitors will also have the chance to take a listening quiz to see how well they can identify kiwi calls from other night-calling animals and birds.
People wanting to take the next step to becoming trained kiwi listeners are welcome to go to any of three kiwi listening workshops which will be held in the last two weeks of May in Russell, Waimate North and Totara North/Whangaroa, with dates and venues yet to be confirmed. The idea is a trial at this stage and if they are successful may be extended to other areas.
The next stall will be held by the Puketotara Landcare Trust and Hupara Landcare Trust at Kerikeri's Old Packhouse on May 6, followed by another from Mahinepua/Radar Hill Landcare Trust at the Old Packhouse on May 12.
Anyone interested in kiwi call listening and the kiwi listening workshops but unable to get to the market stalls can ring DoC on 09 407 0300.