Story: Large forest birds

Male kākāpō booming

During the breeding season – only 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 are alternated with a series of higher ‘chinging’ calls which help the female locate the male more precisely.

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How to cite this page:

Gerard Hutching, 'Large forest birds - Kākāpō', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 22 October 2019)

Story by Gerard Hutching, published 24 Sep 2007, reviewed & revised 17 Feb 2015