Rare footage of kiwi hatchlings' first moments

A nature park has captured a pair of kiwi hatchlings' first moments after breaking through their eggs.

Rainbow Springs released the time lapse footage, with the facilities Husbandry Manager Emma Bean saying she was astounded by the detail she could see in the hatching.

"The camera was carefully set up so that we were able to capture this rarely witnessed event while keeping the egg warm and safe in the incubator," she said.

"After 11 years working with kiwi, it's even blown me away. This is the first time I've been able to see a hatch in this much detail."

Footage was captured at one second intervals throughout the active period over the six days it took for the eggs to hatch, capturing the motion but allowing the egg and chick to stay in focus.

The hatchlings, both female, were named Winton and Cadre.

Chicks cannot be released until they reach their stoat- proof weight of 1kg, and their chance of survival rises from five percent to 65 percent.

Winton is currently waiting to reach a safe weight before being released into Maungataniwha, while Cadre has already been released into a predator-free part of Tongariro Forest.

New Zealand currently has around 68,000 kiwi and numbers are declining in non-managed areas around 2 percent per year.

Thankfully, according to Ms Bean, numbers are growing in areas where work is being done to manage their habitat.

"It's our goal is to ultimately change the kiwi story so that the population is increasing by 2 percent," she said.