Third kiwi chick dies

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Queenstown’s lost its latest brown kiwi chick – but wildlife staff have been told to let the lovebird parents keep at it. 

It’s the third hatched offspring of teenage couple Tawahi and Tamanui that has died since the pair started laying at Kiwi Birdlife Park in August last year. 

Their fourth fertile egg is due to hatch early April. 

The pair – aged two and four when they first mated – are not doting parents and have failed to incubate the eggs. 

That job’s fallen to older male Nyoni and the eggs are then moved to an incubation lab. 

“Simply put, we’ve got a pair of young, inexperienced kiwi in their first breeding season, producing small eggs and weak chicks,” wildlife manager Bridget Baynes says. 

National body Kiwi Recovery Group has told upset staff to let the pair “keep trying”. 

It’s rare that the youngsters are producing fertile eggs, and despite the deaths, Baynes says staff remain positive. 

“It’s actually a very good sign that these young kiwi are producing many fertile eggs so young and certainly bodes well for their future productivity,” she says. 

The amorous duo were observed going at it again on Valentine’s Day.