Kaka enjoying a pine cone at the Dunedin gardens in Otago South Island NZ.
The New Zealand Kaka, also known as Kākā, (Nestor meridionalis) is a New Zealand parrot endemic to the native forests of New Zealand. The New Zealand Kaka is a medium sized parrot, around 45 cm (18 in) in length and weighing about 550 g, and is closely related to the Kea, but has darker plumage and is more arboreal. The forehead and crown are greyish-white and the nape is greyish-brown. The neck and abdomen are more reddish, while the wings are more brownish. Both sub-species have a strongly patterned brown/green/grey plumage with orange and scarlet flashes under the wings; color variants which show red to yellow coloration especially on the breast are sometimes found.
This group of parrots is unusual, retaining more primitive features lost in most other parrots, because it split off from the rest around 100 million years ago. The New Zealand Kaka lives in lowland and mid-altitude native forest. Its strongholds are currently the offshore reserves of Kapiti Island, Codfish Island and Little Barrier Island. It is breeding rapidly in the mainland island sanctuary at Zealandia (Karori Wildlife Sanctuary), with over 100 chicks hatched since their reintroduction in 2002. Kaka are mainly arboreal and occupy mid to high canopy. Often seen flying across valleys or calling from the top of emergent trees. They are very gregarious and move in large flocks often containing Kea where present. Kaka are mainly arboreal and occupy mid to high canopy. Often seen flying across valleys or calling from the top of emergent trees. They are very gregarious and move in large flocks often containing Kea where present. The New Zealand Kaka is considered vulnerable It has greatly declined, in part from habitat loss, and because of introduced wasps, possums and bees, which compete with the Kaka for the honeydew excreted by scale insects. Research has shown that this honeydew is very important for breeding birds, especially those breeding in southern beech forests. The difficult nature of controlling the wasps makes the New Zealand Kaka’s future very uncertain. A closely related species, Nestor productus, the Norfolk Island Kaka, became extinct in 1851.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ35 Dunedin Gardens Otago South Island NZ July 2011
Featured 14th July 2011
I’ll Skip The Double Scoop & Just Have The Cone!! Thanks