About Us / Our Raptor Aviculturists
Heidi Stook, Assistant Manager
Originally a Wellington girl, but escaped the city on her motorbike to live at the beach and then explore the Bay of Plenty forests. She swims, she kayaks, she climbs mountains; safe to say she is Wingspan's action woman!
Heidi has always had a love for wildlife and her past experience has included looking after New Zealand birds. It didn’t take her long to figure that falcons and hawks fly much better than kiwis! You could say she is now hooked on raptors, whether it's training them, talking about them, or watching them in the field.
But looking back, Heidi was probably one of those kids who would draw on the walls as soon as she could hold a crayon in her hand. Now that she is all grown up, she’s still drawing on the walls - her artistic talent in the form of her ‘pet’ projects, and now no wall or window is safe at Wingspan from Heidi’s signwriting and koru murals.
‘Sign’ of a good thing at Wingspan; come visit, meet Heidi.
Melissa Brown, Raptor Intern
Melissa is all about the ‘W’ words! From Whakatāne to Whangārei, and now back home to Whakarewarewa to be closer to whānau, and Wingspan! She is the newest member of our Team.
She’s been called a busy little pīwakawaka (fantail) in her time, but we prefer to call her the ‘energiser bunny’! Always active; sometimes an activist, Melissa is a marine diver, a musician (all about the bass!) and passionate about conservation and saving the World.
Melissa’s role at Wingspan is two-fold – it’s all about people, and all about the birds. As a Raptor Intern she is learning more about nga manu māori (native birds) and, as our Iwi Liaison, is helping us with our te reo and māori pronunciation. Gonna be a whole lot of macrons at Wingspan from now on!
Kirsten Pearse, Raptor Research
It would seem that Kirsten has been stalking Wingspan to quite a degree!
First arriving at Wingspan in 2014 to work as a volunteer while completing a Diploma in Environmental Management, her studies continued by completing her Bachelor of Science with Waikato University.
A lover of New Zealand wildlife, and particularly birds of prey, Kirsten is now never far away from the feathers, or a set of binoculars. As Wingspans new researcher, little wonder she has embraced the role. In her spare time, she is keen on long distance trekking, creative writing, bird counting, and currently studies part time for her personal pilot licence. Kirsten isnt just a lover of falcons, she wants to be one!