The award-winning Whangarei Native Bird Recovery Centre Incorporated has cared for and treated thousands of birds since 1st August 1992, when it was first established.
Centre founders Robert and Robyn Webb, who have over 30 years’ experience working with native birds, manage and run the centre with the help of a small committee of volunteers.
The centre takes in all injured birds, both native and non-native, and where possible nurses the birds back to health for release into the wild. More than 60% of the birds that are brought into the centre are successfully released again.
A special part of the centre is the Elanco incubation vetinerary and education unit and Elanco kiwi pens. This facility is used to incubate eggs found in the wild and also as a recovery area for injured kiwi.
In the Whangarei area, dogs are the biggest cause of kiwi deaths and injuries, followed by motor vehicles. Many of these injured kiwi end up at the Whangarei Native Bird Recovery Centre.
The centre’s diverse operations include:
- Rescuing, caring for and rehabilitating over 1200 birds each year.
- Running education programmes for approximately 6000 school children who visit the centre each year.
- Running birdlife education programmes in some of Northland’s more remote schools.
- Lecturing groups of adults about the centre and its conservation work.
- Fostering environmental consciousness in Northland’s communities.
- Educating local landowners on wild birds and care of their habitat.
- Helping save the kiwi by being part of the kiwi recovery programme in conjunction with the Department of Conservation
- Ongoing care of birds which cannot be released due to permanent injuries. These form a valuable part of the breeding programme and education.
- Providing advice on treatment of wild birds to other agencies such as veterinarians and zoos.
- Incubating kiwi recovery programme eggs and rearing chicks until ready to be released into the wild.
- Providing free access to the bird recovery centre for the public.