Latest News

owl 2


December 19, 2014

mary and joseph


December 18, 2014

The baby tuis that were put out in a garbage bag (see story below this one) are doing incredibly well. They’re feeding hourly, and now pick their heads up and open their mouths wiiiiiiiide for food. I had intended to give them Maori names… but laughed so hard at Maggie MacPherson’s comment “Mary & Joseph – lucky for them there was room at the inn” that I had to call them that! However, 4 other young tuis and one adult have all come in today, so we’ll use some of your other wonderful suggestions to name those. Thanks for your creative ideas, and your lovely words of support



I’ll bet you can’t figure out what this is a photo of. Well, let me explain. Yesterday two wonderful people were walking by some rubbish bags that had been hanging outside for a couple of days… and heard cheeping. They tore open a rubbish bag, and found a nest in some ducting, with 2 severely dehydrated baby birds in it. Someone obviously had heard the cheeping in their house, ripped the ducting out with the live babies inside, tied them into a plastic rubbish bag, and threw them away. I’d go on about how awful people can be, but of course the kind couple who saved them are representative of the better type of human. They rushed the nest all the way up to us. The poor babies were swarming with mites. Literally hundreds of them. We treated them, fed them hourly, and kept them on a heating pad. I truly didn’t know if they would make it. But by late last night they were both sticking their necks up with wide open mouths, yammering for a feed. Hooray! This morning they’re doing really well, and starting to look and behave like proper baby tuis should. Yes, they are two beautiful young tuis. I think we need special names for them. Any ideas???

owl 1


December 17, 2014

With the storm, it’s been a busy busy time. Heaps of baby birds are coming in, knocked out of their nests by the high winds. Yesterday we got a call from some landscapers at Plume Cafe in Matakana. They were trimming branches, and then realised there was a wet baby owl on the ground where they were working. You may remember that the kind owners of Plume called us to rescue and rehome 50 doves almost exactly one year ago… so they knew who to call! I love love love baby owls, and was delighted to go pick this one up. She’s still covered in down, and makes the sweetest noises. I’m sad that she lost her nest and her parents, but we’ll try hard to be the next best thing. We’ve successfully raised and released owls in the past, and it’s a real pleasure to care for our newest charge. I can hear you wondering… “Why Brunhilda?!” Well, we have 2 lovely German volunteers at the moment, and they’ve also fallen under her spell. So, a German name it is! And those eyes just called out to be named Brunhilda. We’re calling her Hildie for short.

kitten snuggle


This makes 3 spooky cat coincidences in a row: On the same day that we were catching the cat and her kittens, I got an email from someone saying they had just moved to the area and wanted to adopt a cat. Did we have any for adoption? AND someone else called to say they were staying home for Christmas, and loved to foster, so did we have any cats or kittens that needed fostering? The reason this is so amazing is that We Don’t Do Cats!!! And we don’t ever get cat enquiries… yet on the day we were catching these gorgeous felines, we received both of these calls. Things sure do move in mysterious ways, eh? By the way, the kittens are adorable… and must have a dark daddy somewhere, cuz two of them are midnight black! Sooo cute, it’s ridiculous. The first one we caught (pictured) is already snuggling and playing as if he was born to a nice warm house and besotted humans. It won’t be long before the others are doing the same. Mamma cat is being speyed today, and I’m hoping she will also tame down quickly so we can begin looking for a home for her. Happy Happy Happy!!!

mr riddle


December 15, 2014

This is spooky. You’ll need to read both parts to understand why: Today I received a package from a cat. The cat is named Mr Flinn. He’s quite famous, and has a series of children’s books written about him. Mr Flinn (and his humans, Peter & Lara) wrote to say they were impressed with the work we do at The Animal Sanctuary, and wanted to help. They sent us 100 of Mr Flinn’s beautiful books as a gift, so that we can sell them to raise funds to help more animals. They usually sell for $16, but we will sell them for $10 so they sell easily. We are sooooo grateful to Mr Flinn for his generosity and support! I’m asking for 6 of our supporters/facebook friends to take 10 books each, and sell them to friends and family and workmates for us. They’re high quality, filled with lots of animals, and great for kids learning to read. Great Christmas gift! You can see the book and the story by clicking on the photo. Please contact me if you’re willing to sell 10 books on our behalf. I can bring them to Auckland tomorrow. They’ll also be available for purchase through our animal shop:
You can see the book at:
Now read Part 2 to see why this is such a spooky cat coincidence…

mamma cat


Literally as we were opening the package from Mr Flinn the kind cat, there was a knock at our door. Our neighbour Jemma had seen a cat and 3 small kittens living in the bush, and had set a trap. She had just caught the mother, and wanted to leave her with me while she went back to catch the kittens. Now, you KNOW that while we love cats, we don’t “do cats” here at our bird refuge…. but having just received such a beautiful gift from a cat, how could I say no?! So, I have Mamma Cat safe and warmly ensconced in a nice cage. Naturally she is scared, and desperate for her babies, but I don’t think she’s a feral cat at all. She settled quickly, is sleek and healthy, and doesn’t act wild. I think she was a pregnant pet and some horrible human dumped her in our bush. Mamma Cat curled up in her cat bed like she knew exactly what it was (but got scared when I poked the camera in for her photo.) We’ll have her desexed and checked for a microchip, and if she’s a domestic cat we’ll be looking for a home for her. Now I’m praying that the wee kittens go into the trap quickly, so we can save them, too. Say a little prayer for them, please…

baybee lake


December 14, 2014

We’re all hiding inside, waiting for the storm to abate a bit. I can’t even get the dogs to go outside to ‘do their business’. The only one enjoying the weather is Baybee, who thinks the new lake in the backyard is absolutely great!!