15 Nov 2008

Rare bird's eggs incubated at Auckland Zoo

1:21 pm on 15 November 2008

Two eggs from New Zealand's rarest bird have been recovered from a Northland beach and are being incubated at Auckland Zoo.

There are only a handful of breeding pairs of fairy terns, which lay their eggs in shallow scrapes in the sand where they are often destroyed by storms or predators.

The Department of Conservation helps the birds by removing at-risk eggs and putting them back as conditions improve, often with infertile surrogate parents which encourages the breeders to lay more eggs.

Fairy tern numbers have grown to more than 40, after being in the low 30s for several years.