Kaikoura's special seabird gets extra care this season with new Hutton's Hub

The Kaikoura community is asked to be extra vigilant during the fledging season of the Hutton's shearwaters and drop off ...
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The Kaikoura community is asked to be extra vigilant during the fledging season of the Hutton's shearwaters and drop off any crash-landed birds in to the newly-built Hutton's Hub at the Ludstone Rd DOC office.

This Friday marks the opening of the newly-built Hutton's Hub, which will cater for crash-landed Hutton's shearwater birds during their fledging season.

Every year, Hutton's shearwaters are killed or injured when they become disoriented and crash-land around Kaikoura.

The Hutton's Shearwater Charitable Trust, the Department of Conservation (DOC) and the wider community are teaming up to raise awareness on how to protect and care for the birds.

The FLY SAFE Titi/Hutton's Shearwaters awareness programme will kick off with the opening of the new Hutton's Hub at the Kaikoura DOC office on Ludstone Rd this Friday, March 4 at 10am.  The event will also celebrate the start of fledging season.

Special guest speakers include Hutton's Shearwater Charitable Trust founder Geoff Harrow, DOC deputy director general Tata Lawton, DOC threatened species ambassador Nicola Toki, and Lindsay Rowe, manager of the Kaikoura peninsula Hutton's shearwater colony.

Kaikoura Mayor Winston Gray will cut the ceremonial tape, a string of paper Titi, to mark the opening of the Hub.

There will be music, a barbecue, ice cream, artwork by local students, movies and a chance for everyone to see inside the Hutton's Hub and learn more about the birds.

Fledglings become disoriented by bright lights on their first flight from the mountains to the sea.  Many crash-land around Kaikoura during overcast or rainy nights, becoming stranded on flat ground.

To reduce the loss of birds over the next month, people are asked to turn off any non-essential outside lights, drive carefully to avoid birds that may have landed on roads and keep cats and dogs indoors at night.

If people find a Hutton's shearwater in the street or on their property, they should pick it up, keep it safe in a cardboard box, and not try to warm it up. Any crash landed birds should be dropped off at the Hutton's Hub.

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The birds will be fitted with a uniquely numbered stainless steel band, then weighed and measured before being released at sea.

The sites where crash-landed birds are found are being documented and will be analysed by students from the University of Canterbury.

Logs for recording crash-landed birds can be found at DOC, Kaikoura District Council, Encounter Kaikoura, Whale Watch Kaikoura and Kaikoura schools.

 - Kaikoura Star

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