Story: Large forest birds

North Island and South Island kākā

North Island and South Island kākā

Kākā are medium-sized parrots which live in forests of all three main islands, and on many nearshore islands. The North Island subspecies (left) is olive brown, and its feathers have darker edges than those of the green South Island birds (right). Kākā have a large pale grey crown, smaller and whiter in the South Island kākā. Both subspecies have a tinge of gold on the cheek, and are crimson under the wings. Males have a longer, more arched bill than females.

Using this item

Department of Conservation
Reference: 10053925 (left); 10059450 (right)
Photographs by Ross Henderson (left) and Tui De Roy (right)

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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 - Kākā', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 21 April 2024)

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