Twenty-nine boisterous kakariki, or yellow-crowned parakeets, have been flown into Boundary Stream in the first translocation initiative of the Poutiri Ao O Tane project.
Poutiri Ao O Tane, a large collaboration project encompassing DoC, local iwi and others, aims to bring back native species, flora and fauna that have been lost to Hawke's Bay over time.
The kakariki were captured at Mana Island near Poriria on Wednesday, then flown to Napier in boxes and released at Boundary Stream on Friday.
Another translocation of the species will take place some time next year, but in the meantime DoC project manager Ken Hunt said the latest arrivals were settling in well. Staff yesterday confirmed the newly-released birds were happily "chatting away".
"There was a huge sigh of relief when the birds flew," he said, adding the species were "nervous" travellers.
"We're planning to do another reintroduction in March or this time next year. We can't transfer any later than now because they all start breeding on Mana."
Volunteers will track the individually-banded birds for three weeks and will again monitor them during their nesting season in November and December to check breeding success. Eventually Mr Hunt hoped there would be a population of hundreds in the area.
"The birds are expected to nest two or three times a year and could have as many as three chicks each time, so we anticipate there will be a robust population within a few years. There's a few in the Ruahines and the Kawekas but numbers are very low, they're prone to predation."
Boundary Stream is also the site of an extensive predator control project run in part by the Hawke's Bay Regional Council.
Next week another release is planned for the area, this time of Kaka.