Kiwi hatching goes global

Live footage of New Zealand native birds can be viewed all over the world thanks to new technology at the Whangarei Native Bird Recovery Centre.

The installation of two new infra-red cameras at the Whangarei Native Bird Recovery Centre has meant that watching a kiwi hatch is as simple as typing in a web address.The organisation, which receives no government funding, operates as a rehabilitation centre for injured and ill birds. Recently it was able to upgrade its dated cameras through a long-time sponsorship with Bayer New Zealand.

Bird centre manager Robert Webb says the upgrade was much needed. “The old cameras were coming up to 11 years old, the images were poor and they would turn themselves off at critical times. “The new cameras have memory sticks so if you miss a kiwi chick hatch you can re-watch it.” The new cameras have also created a great opportunity for the centre through its live webcast function. “The webcasts have become a fantastic educational tool for schools,” Webb says.“We have schools requesting to design their curriculum around our footage and the teachers are able to use the images to support their programme.”

But it’s not just New Zealand schools that are benefitting from the cameras. A class in Colorado were able to witness a kiwi hatch as well as view hawks and albatross which are also cared for. The centre’s sponsorship by Bayer New Zealand has also helped to increase the number of international visitors through the doors. “Bayer’s global recognition has been great for us, it has definitely helped increase the awareness of our organisation,” Webb says. 

The awareness generated from Bayer New Zealand and the new cameras is hugely beneficial for the organisation which relies heavily on visitor entry donation to keep operating. “The cameras really are the heart of the centre, they encourage people to come up here and experience these beautiful birds which means that we can continue caring for them.”

To view the webcasts visit    

About the Whangarei Native Bird Recovery Centre 

The Whangarei Native Bird Recovery Centre provides help, treatment and rehabilitation for injured and ill native birds so that they can be returned to the wild. Founded in 1992 by Robert and Robyn Webb, the centre is run with the help of a small and dedicated band of volunteers. Entry is by donation as the centre is a non-profit organisation that survives without government help.