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.
Te whakamahi i tēnei tūemi
Department of Conservation
Photograph by Don Merton
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Sound file from Birds of New Zealand. Compact disc. © Viking Sevenseas NZ, 1980 (available from PO Box 152, Paraparaumu). All rights reserved.