November 4th, 2011

Superbird

Blogger: Campaign Manager for the Saddleback (tieke), Jackson James Wood

Insanely great

Blogger: Campaign Manager for the kakapo and Forest & Bird’s fundraiser, Jolene Molloy

Kakapos. They may not sing as hauntingly as the kokako or be as brightly coloured as the kakariki or swoop as majestically as the kaka but I think the kakapo is most deserving of crowning title of Bird of the Year.

A kakapo male. Photo: Don Merton

A kakapo male. Photo: Don Merton

They’re some of our most entertaining birds however their nightly performances are done under a curtain of darkness.

In fact they are the world’s only nocturnal parrot.  They’re also the only parrots to use a lek system for breeding.  It’s a bit like the bird equivalent of X Factor or American Idol.

The mating process involves the males finding the best position where they make a track and bowl system.  This is their version of a stage. They are diligent stagekeepers, and they fuss over it so that it looks its best.

Every night they place themselves centre stage, they inflate their thoracic sac which is situated in their chest, and let out an almighty boom to attract the ladies.

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