kokako-bigbird.pngAbout Kokako

Why are kokako special?
North Island kokako (Callaeas cinerea wilsoni) are only found in New Zealand. We believe they are the most beautiful songster in the bush - lots of people agree!

Kokako belong to an ancient family of birds which includes the tieke (saddleback) and the extinct huia.

Kokako were once common in lowland forests throughout New Zealand. Now there are fewer than 1400 surviving in the North Island. The South Island sub-species of kokako is believed to be extinct.

Why are kokako endangered?
The main reason for kokako decline numbers is predation by possums and ship rats. These animals attack females on the nest and destroy their eggs and chicks. The only way to ensure the survival of kokako is to protect them from these predators during the nesting season so chicks can fledge.

What makes suitable habitat?
Kokako are forest birds who require large standing trees for nesting. At Kaharoa, kokako have shown a remarkable ability to survive in cutover native forest and are also known to nest in pine trees on the edges of the native bush.

 

Kokako at a glance

 Appearance  Habitat  Food  Breeding
 Male and Female
 look alike
 Lowland forest
 North & South Islands

 Omnivorous
 leaves, fruit, nectar &   
 insects

 Generally
 stable pairings

 Medium Large
 perching bird

     Female builds nest
 & incubates for 55 days
 Flies in short bursts      Lays 1-3 eggs
 October to March
 Fledge 30-35 days
 Glides up to 100m      Male feeds female while 
 on nest and both feed
 chicks
 Runs and jumps from
 tree to tree on
 powerful legs
     

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