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Keywords:

  • bacterial infection;
  • black stilt;
  • growth;
  • kaki;
  • mortality;
  • New Zealand

Between 1989 and 1998, 294 Black stilt or kaki Himantopus novaezelandiae chicks hatched at Twizel, South Canterbury, New Zealand. Of these, 251 (85%) were successfully reared to fledging. Eighty-four (29%) chicks were parent-hatched and 75% of these fledged. A total of 188 hand-reared chicks survived to fledging. Forty-three chicks died from a number of causes, including starvation or nutritional deficiency (21%), as a result of slow acceptance of supplementary diet, bacterial infection (14%), accidents while with parents (14%), poor parenting (9%), weak hatchlings after artificial incubation (11%), stress from sibling aggression (2%), enteritis and pneumonia. There were five deaths from unknown causes.