Story: Large forest birds

Kākāpō juvenile

Kākāpō juvenile

Kākāpō are nocturnal, flightless parrots that are unlike any other parrot. At night they jog for kilometres along the ground and clamber round in trees, searching for food. They use their short wings only for balance, or like a parachute to break their fall. Fine whiskery feathers around the face and a good sense of smell help them sense their immediate surroundings in the dark. Their soft plumage gives them better insulation than most birds, and this, combined with a lower body temperature, means they use less energy.

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Department of Conservation
Reference: 10059516
Photograph by Tui De Roy

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Courtesy of Roving Tortoise Worldwide Nature Photography

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How to cite this page:

Gerard Hutching, 'Large forest birds - Kākāpō', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 11 December 2023)

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