25 Dec 2016

New chicks raise hopes for world's rarest seabirds

8:02 pm on 25 December 2016

Wardens protecting fairy tern nests in Northland spent their Christmas Day on the beach, keeping an eye on the world's rarest seabirds.

Fairy tern with chicks at Mangawhai

Fairy tern with chicks at Mangawhai Photo: Sioux Plowman

The birds have hatched four chicks this summer - and two more are expected - on beaches from Waipu to Mangawhai.

Two eggs were removed for their safety from Papakanui on the Kaipara coast last month, after the nest was disturbed.

Fairy Tern Trust spokesperson Heather Rogan said the eggs went first to Auckland Zoo, and then to foster nests.

She said the first chick appeared at a foster nest at Mangawhai.

"It hatched successfully, and is still being feed and is really doing very well. And then a day or two later, another egg which had come from Papakanui hatched, and that chick is also doing well and being well fed."

Ms Rogan said the nests had been cordoned off, and the wardens would watch over them all summer.

Only about 40 of the birds remain.

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