This is a large, plump-bodied parrot (Nestor occidentalis) about 18 in. in length. It is not uncommon in the forested areas of the North Island and south-west Otago. The plumage is mostly olive-brown and grey, speckled and barred with dark-brown and with crimson patches under the wings and on the rump. The food of the kaka consists of grubs and the larvae of moths and beetles. They are noisy birds, the harsh cry resembling the Maori name Kaka, which is a phonetic rendering of the sound. The kaka is a sprightly bird; it climbs with rapidity, hops on the ground, and often performs acrobatics on the wing. The South Island Green Kaka (Nestor meridionalis) is more greenish than brown and is readily distinguishable by the colour of the head, which is almost white.
by Arthur William Baden Powell, Assistant Director, Auckland Institute and Museum.