Birdlife park’s silver jubilee

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Queenstown’s Kiwi Birdlife Park marked 25 years of protecting native birds with a celebration yesterday. 

The function was dedicated to park founder Dick Wilson, who died in January 2010, and to thank the community for its support over the years. 

The tourist attraction and conservation centre was created on an old refuse site in 1986 by Wilson and wife Noeleen. 

Over the years, more than 8000 native plants have been planted at the Brecon Street sanctuary to support the park’s thriving bird population, which now includes tui, bellbirds, tomtits, kereru and morepork. 

In recent months the park’s star breeding brown kiwi – teenage lovebirds Tamanui and Tawahi – have made news by producing five eggs – the latest was laid on January 16. 

Apart from the third egg – due to hatch in February – their other offspring haven’t so far developed, hatched or survived.