7 Dec 2011

Rare birds flying to where?

7:28 pm on 7 December 2011

Some of the rarest birds in New Zealand are flying off to a secret destination and conservation officials want the public to help find out where that is.

About 20 shore plovers are coming and going from their home on Mana Island, off the Kapiti coast, presumably to the mainland.

They are strong flyers and the Department of Conservation says they could be travelling a long way.

Predators wiped out the small bird, with its distinctive red and black bill and white belly, on the mainland in the mid-1800s.

The first pairs were moved to Mana Island in 2007 from a captive breeding programme using birds from the Chatham Islands, where there is still a small wild population.