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118099.  Sun Nov 19, 2006 9:22 am Reply with quote

Another antipodean delight, flightless nocturnal ground dwelling parrot. The whole population has been moved to isolated islands to preserve them. World population is estimated to be about 70.

Not a Number
119356.  Wed Nov 22, 2006 12:51 am Reply with quote

It's also the heaviest parrot (up to 8 pounds). For most of the kakapo's existence, the only mammals in New Zealand (the home of the kakapo) were two species of bat. The island was inhabited mostly by insects, birds, and reptiles. The arrival of Polynesians, and then Europeans with their animals caused the severe decline. There are now at least 83 kakapo - up from 50 in 1997.

It's flightlessness can be attributed not only to its weight, but to the shape of its sternum and short wings. It can, however, drift from tree to ground in a hang gliding manner.

Kakapo (or -poes) have been reported to have a very pleasant odor, reminiscent of "flowers and honey, an air freshener, or the inside of an antique violin case."

Their reproductive habits are also unique. Kakapo are the only parrots to engage in a "lek breeding system". The males gather to lek (compete in sparring and dancing with each other) while the females watch. They then choose their favorite partner. Males create mating courts (a series of bowl shaped depressions) from which they will call to the ladies using their thoracic sac to produce a loud, low sound,. Unlike human males (haw haw), the kakapo male is meticulously clean when it comes to his bowl, and one way researchers know whether the male has been to a particular bowl during the night is to plant a couple of twigs, and then see during the day whether they have been removed.

Kakapo sound:
more at
(be sure to listen to the male kakapo's 'boom' - very cool)

119378.  Wed Nov 22, 2006 3:56 am Reply with quote

Rather topical...

569492.  Mon Jun 15, 2009 8:58 am Reply with quote

Some more (funny) facts can be found here:

Der Eulenpapagei

Last edited by Schrottfisch on Thu Jun 25, 2009 6:28 pm; edited 1 time in total

569541.  Mon Jun 15, 2009 10:42 am Reply with quote

That is quite interesting, Schrottfisch, and perhaps you should consider translating the page for the benefit of those who cannot speak German. I can just about read it with a dictionary's assistance, but a faithful translation is best left in other hands.

569555.  Mon Jun 15, 2009 11:07 am Reply with quote|en|

569837.  Mon Jun 15, 2009 6:12 pm Reply with quote

MinervaMoon wrote:

569844.  Mon Jun 15, 2009 6:36 pm Reply with quote

Posital wrote:
MinervaMoon wrote:

Indeed 'twas the reservation.

569846.  Mon Jun 15, 2009 6:38 pm Reply with quote

Thought the Google translation was quite humourous in itself.

Sadurian Mike
569849.  Mon Jun 15, 2009 6:41 pm Reply with quote

It was bloody hilarious. Who says the Germans don't have a sense of humour?

733260.  Thu Aug 12, 2010 3:09 pm Reply with quote

I watched the Last Chance episode again and then looked up the kakapo to see that there are now 122.

I think I first saw this green parrot on a TV programme in the 80's or early 90's about a group trekking in southern NZ. They were woken in the night by strange sounds and discovered in the morning that all the little rubber loops on their tents had been eaten.

Possibly the last time they were filmed in the "wildy-wildy-wild".

735822.  Mon Aug 23, 2010 8:41 am Reply with quote

The Kakapo was first threatened by the rats which came to NZ by the Polynesians. They replaced tiny flightless wren type birds which filled the ecological niche of the rodents. I would imagine domestic cats and other introduced preditors saw the rest off. Incidentally the Kakapo is not the only endangered NZ bird to be offered island protection.


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