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Last year, Ailsa Howard, who’s been researching banded dotterels on South Bay, Kaikoura, was so frustrated by the 100% failure rate of nests due to predators, that she and came up with an ingenious idea. With her husband, Ted, they’ve created a gobsmackingly effective approach to protecting the nests. It’s still in the ‘R&D’ phase, as Ted is tweaking the design and materials to be more effective and robust in the salt air. But if last year’s results are anything to go by, this could be a game changer for nesting dotterels and possibly (but as yet untried) wrybills. It’s not suitable for large birds because the distance between the ‘bars’ would allow predators in, and some bird species will take flight directly from nests. The dotterels tend to run, first, leaving the cages before taking flight. See here for more background.