The Department of Conservation is celebrating after discovering the first of their relocated tītī has returned to a burrow in Hawke's Bay - and has brought a partner.
The tītī or Cooks Petrel was largely driven off the mainland by predator species like rats, but a small population was preserved on Little Barrier Island.
Six years ago in 2013, conservation group Poutiri Ao ō Tāne began a relocation programme to reintroduce tītī to the Maungaharuru Range, inland from Napier.
They were brought over as chicks - hundreds of them - in the hopes they would bond with their new surroundings.
Tītī are known to spend years off at sea, and the Maungaharuru population eventually left.
In late 2017 the first of them returned to their man-made nests, and DOC this week was supremely excited to see one of their birds - who they have named Waitangi - has found a mate.
"The camera watching Waitangi’s burrow has picked up some more wonderful news – a friend appears to be sharing the burrow," Poutiri Ao ō Tāne wrote on its Facebook page.
"Fingers crossed for the pitter patter of a chick soon!"
The project has also reintroduced a number of other native bird species to the area in the hopes they will stay, including the Kōrure (mottled petrel), Kākāriki and Kākā.