Why are kōkako special?
North Island kōkako (Callaeas cinerea wilsoni) are only found in New Zealand. We believe they are the most beautiful songster in the bush - lots of people agree!
Kōkako belong to an ancient family of birds which includes the tieke (saddleback) and the extinct huia.
Kōkako 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 kōkako is believed to be extinct.
Why are kōkako endangered?
The main reason for kōkako 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 kōkako is to protect them from these predators during the nesting season so chicks can fledge.
What makes suitable habitat?
Kōkako are forest birds who require large standing trees for nesting. At Kaharoa, kōkako 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.
Kōkako at a glance
| Male and Female
| Lowland forest
North & South Islands
| 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
| Runs and jumps from
tree to tree on