About a dozen young Rangers for a Day kept their noses to the ground and eyes skyward for the Birds, Birds, Birds holiday programme at Pukaha Mt Bruce yesterday.

Susie Everitt, Pukaha Mt Bruce visitor experience guide, said the corps of rangers, who were aged from six to nine, were one of the first age-graded groups of holiday visitors to the nationally renowned Wairarapa wildlife centre.

Mrs Everitt said 10 to 13-year-old visitors will take their turn as rangers and would complete a flora and fauna excursion at the centre today, with the balance of the holidays split into younger rangers on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and senior groups on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

The junior group on Friday focused on the feathered residents at Pukaha, their day including the feeding of apples to a pair of male takahe called Bud and Natural, a visit to the nocturnal house to see Manukura the white kiwi burrowing for a meal, and Kahurangi the wolf-whistling kokako among an eclectic flock of other native birds.


The group also enjoyed an al fresco lunch, Mrs Everitt said, and a steady flow of fun facts and information throughout their time at the centre.

She said the programme embraces several subjects including the birds, forest restoration with the rangers "learning about restoring balance" and keeping the forest safe from predators, flora and fauna, and insects, eels and reptiles.

The Ranger for a Day programme costs $20 a child and each programme runs from 11am to 3pm. Spaces are limited and the parents of prospective rangers are encouraged to book by calling the Pukaha Mt Bruce centre at 06 375 8004.