By Peter de Graaf
A conservation group is "ecstatic" after discovering rare saddlebacks have been breeding in the
for the first time in more than a century. of Bay Islands
The group's volunteers had been nervously awaiting the results of the birds' first breeding season but have now spotted several family groups with young fledglings.
Birds hatched on the island are easily recognised because, unlike the adults released last winter, they have no leg bands.
"We're ecstatic. They're the first tieke to breed on the island in more than 100 years, and they're the northernmost population in
." New Zealand
Mr Robbins said the wet summer meant there was plenty of food for the birds, helping to ensure a good breeding season.
Tieke liked to eat small invertebrates but would also feed on nectar and berries.
The group had yet to carry out a bird count - that would take place later this month - but there had been plenty of sightings and people were hearing the tieke's distinctive call all over Urupukapuka.