Stage one – stocking kōhanga
Step three – lifting the eggs

Kiwi egg just lifted from nest

Step three is perhaps the most delicate stage of the operation. Once an incubating kiwi is identified, a plan is made to lift the egg or eggs from the nest. This involves ensuring we have the right people to lift and transport the egg to a hatching facility.

Kiwi nests can be up to a metre underground and it’s essential to ensure that the egg is treated extremely carefully to keep the air cell intact. It takes patience and a delicate touch to remove eggs safely from a nest.

Kiwi conservationists sometimes end up shoulder deep in a kiwi burrow.

Kiwi conservationists sometimes end up shoulder deep in a kiwi burrow.

When it has been taken out, the egg is checked to make sure that it is healthy.

A technique called ‘candling’ is used to check the egg is healthy.

A technique called ‘candling’ is used to check the egg is healthy.

The egg then has to be carefully packaged into a transport box, often a chilly bin, carried back out of the bush and sent on its way to the hatching facility. Having a driver lined up at this point is crucial as the eggs need to reach the hatch facility within around 12 hours. Once again, this is often done by volunteers.

Safely packaging a kiwi egg to be transported to a hatching facility.

Safely packaging a kiwi egg to be transported to a hatching facility.

Carrying an egg out of the bush

Transporting an egg carefully can be tricky!

=> Step four – incubation.