Rain-loving tui takes top spot

Matangi man Robert Hos, an amateur photographer with a keen eye, has taken top spot in this year’s Hamilton Halo photo competition with his image of a rain-loving tūī.

Hos’s photo was among more than 70 entered into the biennial Hamilton Halo photo competition in July and judged the overall winner by a panel of experts.

Six years ago when they first moved onto their Matangi property, Hos and his wife were excited to see one tūī.

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Sing out for bellbird

A male bellbird has been spotted feeding in trees in a Hamilton gully, sparking a call from Hamilton Halo project partners for residents to report sightings.

Bellbirds or korimako are endemic to New Zealand but until recently had been virtually unseen in Hamilton.

A member of the public contacted Hamilton City Council last week after hearing what he thought was a bellbird’s distinctive song in AJ Seeley Gully at Claudelands.

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Reports of bird sightings urged

Waikato people are being encouraged to report sightings of certain native birds on an updated web page launched to coincide with Conservation Week, this week.

Waikato Regional Council has previously had a facility for people to report tui and bellbird sightings as part of the Halo project controlling pests at tui breeding sites around Hamilton. There have been significant increases in reported tui sightings since the project began.

Now, for Conservation Week, the council has established an updated page on its website so that people are also able to report sightings of kaka and kereru.

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Tui halo could widen

Waikato Regional Council staff are looking at whether lessons learned during the successful and highly popular Hamilton Halo project to protect tui can be applied to other parts of the region.

In Tamahere, tui only returned for the first time in decades three years ago but this year one Tamahere family reported the breeding success of a tui pair which fledged four chicks.

A report to the council’s regional pest management committee said an investigation would particularly look at how the Halo model could be used to enhance significant natural areas.

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