Pukekos proving popular attraction at landfill

This year has proven to be a bumper one at the landfill for pukekos, which have adapted well to...
This year has proven to be a bumper one at the landfill for pukekos, which have adapted well to the environs of the waste transfer station. PHOTOS: STEPHEN JAQUIERY
Visitors to the Green Island landfill in recent days have had a cute surprise as the waste transfer station has been overrun with pukeko chicks.

Waste Management operations manager Paul Withers said 2022 seemed to have been a great breeding year with many chicks on site already, and more to come.

"The adults are still nesting in different places so there will be plenty more chicks to come."

Staff at the landfill were enjoying having the chicks around, although the cheeky birds had been known to sneak into the break room and make a mess occasionally.

Maintenance tasks such as mowing were a little more complicated with the presence of pukeko nests.

Some patches of grass were going unmown as they were home to a nest, which could hold as many as 13 eggs.

Mr Withers said patrons of the landfill had enjoyed seeing the chicks, taking plenty of photos and videos.

 

Mike Marshall photographs a pukeko chick yesterday morning while his wife, Chris, unloads the...
Mike Marshall photographs a pukeko chick yesterday morning while his wife, Chris, unloads the trailer.
The pukekos mostly tolerated their human fans also.

"The adults are very protective and won’t let people get too close. The chicks will head for cover if you get too close, otherwise they seem oblivious to people being around."

Pukeko chicks are proving popular with people unloading their rubbish at the Green Island landfill.
Pukeko chicks are proving popular with people unloading their rubbish at the Green Island landfill.
The chicks had one unexpected benefit as they were often seen alongside the entrance to the landfill.

"[It is] a great traffic-calming measure. People slow down to watch them and will give way if they are on the road."

andrew.marshall@odt.co.nz

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