Kōrero: Land birds – overview

Kākāpō

New Zealand’s most unusual parrot is the nocturnal, flightless, vegetarian kākāpō. It is the heaviest parrot in the world. Males weigh 2 kilograms on average, but can reach 4 kilos. The females average 1.5 kilos. This male is feeding on the berries of a low-growing poroporo bush. But kākāpō sometimes feed in treetops as high as 30 metres. They clamber and pull themselves up on branches with their strong beaks. The short wings are used for balance, and to parachute down several metres between levels.

Listen to several male kākāpō calling to females.

Using this item

Department of Conservation
Reference: 10047128
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.

Sound file from Birds of New Zealand. Compact disc. © Viking Sevenseas NZ, 1980 (available from PO Box 152, Paraparaumu). All rights reserved.

All images & media in this story

Me pēnei te tohu i te whārangi:

Kerry-Jayne Wilson, 'Land birds – overview - Weird and wonderful birds', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/mi/natural-sounds/9884/kakapo (accessed 24 August 2019)

Story by Kerry-Jayne Wilson, published 24 Sep 2007, reviewed & revised 20 Apr 2015