Story: Large forest birds



The kākāpō is one of New Zealand’s many unusual birds. The world’s largest parrot, it is nocturnal and has a whiskery, owl-like face. Its short rounded wings are useless for flight, and its feathers are soft and sweet-smelling. It is the only parrot to have a lek breeding system – the males congregate in one area and send out booming calls to attract females from far away. Kākāpō breed only once every few years, but are very long-lived.

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Photograph by Michael Szabo

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How to cite this page:

Gerard Hutching, 'Large forest birds - New Zealand’s large forest birds', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 29 November 2023)

Story by Gerard Hutching, published 24 Sep 2007, reviewed & revised 17 Feb 2015, updated 1 Aug 2023