As many of you know, our kororā colony at the Zoo are all wild rescues. These birds were found either sick or injured in the wild and were brought to our veterinary hospital, by our partners like the Department of Conservation, for treatment. While these kororā were able to be successfully treated by our team, they were not able to be released back into the wild due to their disabilities – including in some cases having only one flipper which limits their ability to dive and find food in the water.
In previous years, in a large part because of these disabilities, our colony has not been successful in rearing their own chicks. This breeding season, our bird team decided to step in to help hand rear the chicks to help ensure survival and create a self-sustaining kororā colony at Auckland Zoo.
Once the bird team knew the egg was fertile, it was retrieved from the nest box and brought to our special behind the scenes incubation room to complete the incubation process. Removing eggs from nests is a common strategy in conservation breeding, as it leads to birds re-laying another clutch of eggs (a process that is known as double clutching) and isn’t stressful for the birds.