Footage of an extremely rare white kiwi wooing his lady love has been captured on camera.
White kiwi Mapuna lives at the Pukaha Mt Bruce National Wildlife Centre, a 942ha sanctuary in the Tararua district. His unusual colouring is thanks to a rare recessive gene carried by his parents.
Rangers have been hoping the 5-year-old kiwi would be getting it on this mating season, but they didn't expect to catch him in the act.
But the footage, caught by trail camera in the Pukaha pre-release enclosures, shows Mapuna is indeed having some success in his romantic endeavours.
In the video, Mapuna repeats a shrill, plaintive call before a North Island brown kiwi appears on screen.
She shows minimal interest at first but suddenly makes a run for the white kiwi, who scampers off.
The rest of their brief courtship appears to consist of walking around each other in circles.
The waltz lasts about 15 seconds before Mapuna's romantic endeavours pay off and the female arranges herself for mating.
Mapuna - whose name means means "prized" or "precious" - was hatched at Pukaha Mt Bruce in 2012, the third white kiwi for the sanctuary. His siblings, Manakua and Mauriora, were born in 2011.
Male kiwi don't have colourful feathers or beautiful warbles to attract their mates - instead they will often follow their partner around, grunting, until she gives in, according to conservation group Kiwis for Kiwi.
"The male taps or strokes the female on her back, near the base of her neck. She crouches low with her head stretched forward and resting on the ground," Kiwis for Kiwi's website says.
"He climbs onto her back, which can be difficult with no wings or tail to help him balance. Often he will grasp her back feathers in his beak. If she loses interest she may wander away, leaving the male in an undignified heap on the ground."
Kiwis are usually monogamous, and some relationship last more than 20 years.
Although Mapuna and his lover are yet to produce an egg, rangers were excited to get video proof the pair are mating.
Two other kiwi chicks are due to hatch shortly after arriving from the Rimutaka Forest Park Trust last week.
One of the eggs looks set to hatch just in time for the New Year. An internal pip - where the baby bird breaks through the membrane - can already be seen inside the egg.
The eggs are safely stowed in incubators in the kiwi house nursery where staff will turn them every four hours until they hatch.
Volunteers are monitoring other nests in the park for eggs. The park is involved in Operation Nest Egg, where kiwi eggs are monitored and taken from nests about 70 days after being laid.
They are incubated, hatched, and the kiwi raised to a weight of approximately 1.2kg before it is released back into the forest.
Lead kiwi ranger Jess Flamy said the team were extremely excited about the imminent hatchings.
"The team are getting ready to collect all visitors in the park and make sure they are in the nursery should we be lucky enough to have a hatching during opening hours."