Story: Large forest birds

Male kākāpō booming

During the breeding season – once every three to five years – male kākāpō gather in a central arena. Each male creates a booming bowl – a basin – and a network of tracks leading to it. They sit in their bowls night after night from December to March, producing a deep boom to attract females. Kākāpō boom by inflating air sacs in their chest, which act as resonating chambers. These deep calls carry over a long distance. They alternate with a series of higher ‘chinging’ calls that help the female find the male once she is nearby.

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How to cite this page:

Gerard Hutching, 'Large forest birds - Kākāpō', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 5 December 2023)

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