Story: Large forest birds

Female kākāpō with chick

Female kākāpō with chick

Female kākāpō raise their young unassisted, incubating their eggs and feeding the chicks while walking long distances for food. Here an adult named Alice feeding her 12-day-old chick is photographed in her nest on Whenua Hou/Codfish Island by wildlife officer Don Merton. He had been involved with kākāpō recovery since the first birds in the managed breeding programme were tracked down in Fiordland in the 1970s, and later on Stewart Island. Alice lived as a wild bird, but was watched closely to ensure her chicks had the best chance of survival.

Using this item

Department of Conservation
Reference: 10034704
Photograph by Don Merton

This item has been provided for private study purposes (such as school projects, family and local history research) and any published reproduction (print or electronic) may infringe copyright law. It is the responsibility of the user of any material to obtain clearance from the copyright holder.

All images & media in this story

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