New Zealand kaka

The talented singer likes to sing loudly, apparently unafraid of attracting predators


New Zealand kaka


The talented singer likes to sing loudly, apparently unafraid of attracting predators

Population 10,000
30% ongoing decline in population

The New Zealand kaka is a captivating species of parrot native to the lush forests of New Zealand. Sporting an olive-brown plumage with striking red underparts, the kaka cuts a distinctive figure among the verdant foliage of its habitat. While its appearance bears some resemblance to the kea, another native New Zealand parrot, the kaka boasts its own unique features, including a robust physique that sets it apart from other avian species.

One of the most notable characteristics of the New Zealand kaka is its vocal prowess. These birds are often heard before they are seen, as they fill the forest canopy with a melodious cacophony of harsh calls interspersed with enchanting whistles. This vocal repertoire serves various purposes, including communication with other kaka individuals, establishing territory boundaries, and coordinating group movements.

In addition to their vocal talents, New Zealand kaka are renowned for their dietary preferences. While they are omnivorous and consume a diverse array of foods, including fruits, seeds, and insects, they have a particular fondness for peanuts. Their willingness to engage in a playful tug-of-war for these nutritious nuts adds to their charm and charisma.

Despite their large size, New Zealand kaka are remarkably agile flyers, navigating effortlessly through the dense canopy of their forest habitat. Their nomadic nature means that they frequently revisit areas where they have been absent for a period, adding an element of unpredictability to their movements within their range.

When it comes to nesting, New Zealand kaka typically seek out large hollows within trees, where they construct their nests and lay clutches of 3 to 5 eggs. Incubation duties fall solely upon the mother, who diligently tends to her precious clutch until the eggs hatch into adorable chicks.


Population est.
New Zealand
Official estimate

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Terrestrial / Aquatic

Altricial / Precocial

Polygamous / Monogamous

Dimorphic (size) / Monomorphic

Active: Diurnal / Nocturnal

Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / Herd

Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore

Migratory: Yes / No

Domesticated: Yes / No

Dangerous: Yes / No