The kakapo male attracts mates with a loud booming sound
Kakapo Scientific Classification
Scientific name
Strigops habroptilus
Kakapo Physical Characteristics
Brown, Green
50-65 years
2-4kg (4.5-9lbs)
Kakapo Distribition

Coming from on the island of New Zealand, the kakapo is a big flightless bird that has actually developed to fill up a similar eco-friendly particular niche as land creatures in the manner in which it wanders the woodland flooring searching for food in the evening.

Though it was greatly without predators for numerous years, the intro of real creatures from outside the island had a terrible influence on kakapo bird numbers, considering that the birds were not really prepared to take care of the hazard of predators. Today the kakapo bird has actually come to be something of a small preservation celeb around the globe.

An Incredible Bird: 4 Kakapo Truths!

  • Amongst the extra one-of-a-kind realities, the kakapo bird walks in a straight placement with its costs almost touching the ground. If it’s endangered, after that the kakapo might stand upright to safeguard itself.
  • The kakapo bird is the only nighttime and flightless parrot species worldwide.
  • Polynesian inhabitants made use of kakapo plumes to make attractive capes and accessories. Their meat likewise supplied a constant resource of food.
  • In their indigenous nation, these parrots have actually won the New Zealand Bird of the Year competitors two times in 2008 and 2020. This bird has actually likewise attracted some global interest. A notorious BBC video clip of the bird including British star Stephen Fry has actually generated practically 20 million sights on YouTube.
  • Kakapos are the biggest parrots worldwide. They can consider approximately 9 extra pounds, that makes them considerably bigger than various other parrot species which get to an optimum dimension of about 4 extra pounds!

Where to Locate the Kakapo

These parrots are woodland- residence birds that developed totally in its initial indigenous environment of New Zealand.

Kakapo Nests

The kakapo constructs its nest under the cover of plants, within rock holes, or within hollow tree trunks.

Kakapo: The Bird’s Scientific Name

The scientific name of the kakapo is Strigops habroptilus The genus Strigops (of which the kakapo seems the just living participant) is stemmed from 2 different Greek words: Strix, implying owl, and ops, implying appearance or face. The species name habroptilus is likewise the mix of 2 Greek words: habros, implying soft, and ptilon, implying plume. The closest living loved ones of the kakapo are the fellow New Zealand birds, the kea and the kaka. With each other, all 3 species come from the broader order of parrots called the Psittaciformes.

Kakapo: The Bird’s Dimension, Appearance & & Habits

The kakapo has a long, rounded tail, a huge however brief beak (bordered by fragile, hair- like plumes), and a durable body with environment-friendly and brownish tuft. Appearing like the owl where its scientific name acquires, the kakapo has ahead- encountering eyes and disc- like plumes on the face that reroute audio towards the ears. These adjustments permit the kakapo to regard its environments effectively in reduced- light problems.

Like numerous various other island- particular birds, the kakapo’s composition has actually developed totally in the lack of numerous severepredators This indicates, most significantly, it can manage to be huge. Coming up to 25 inches in dimension and considering approximately 13 extra pounds, the kakapo is just one of the biggest parrot species worldwide. Consequently of this ground- based way of living, the kakapo has actually developed smaller sized wings that can not perhaps sustain its big weight.

Although it can not fly, the kakapo does have the fantastic capacity to go up trees with its solid feet. Amongst the extra fantastic realities, this bird will certainly use its wings as a parachute to drift securely to the ground. The wings likewise give equilibrium as it’s strolling or running. The kakapo is not a social species, in itself, other than in the breeding period. They are very territorial birds that alert away invaders with a loud “kraak” audio. However each bird is smart and shows up to display an one-of-a-kind individuality.

Kakapo Parrot Endemic to New Zealand
Imogen Warren/Shutterstock.com

Kakapo Diet

The kakapo is a vegetarian animal that grinds up food with its beak and mouth. Unlike numerous various other bird species, it does not have the specialized body organ called the gizzard that usually grinds up food. It’s likewise among minority land birds that can keep big quantities of power as body fat.

What does the kakapo bird eat?

The kakapo eats fruits, seeds, fallen leave buds, fires, bulbs, roots, plant pollens, mosses, and fungis, every one of which differ by period and area.

Kakapo: The Bird’s Predators, Dangers, and Conservation Status

For numerous years, the kakapo ran into couple of all-natural predators in the wild. However the very first wave of Polynesian inhabitants likewise brought rats and various other creatures that eaten vulnerable chicks laid off in their nest for hrs as the mom entered search of food. The arrival of European inhabitants totally changed New Zealand’s environment with the devastation of woodlands and the intro of cats, ferrets, and stoats. By the 1950s, the kakapo was practically totally extinct. Just brave preservation initiatives prospered at conserving the kakapo, however the species is still thought about to be seriously endangered by the IUCN Red Listing. Find out more regarding one of the most endangered species in the world right here.

What consumes the kakapo bird?

Prior to big meat-eating creatures were presented to New Zealand, the kakapo’s major predators were big predators. It might typically deceive various other birds by cold in position to assimilate with the woodland environments. However meat-eating creatures confirmed to be a much more efficient killer by searching the kakapos with their fragrance. Due to the fact that the kakapos had not the moment to progress awesome defenses versus land creatures, this had a terrible result on population numbers.

Kakapo: The Bird’s Reproduction, Infants, and Life Expectancy

It’s possibly no overestimation to state that the kakapo has among one of the most fancy and remarkable courtship routines in the whole animal kingdom. As the reproduction duration strategies (in between December and February or March), male kakapo will certainly leave their house area and develop a breeding location in the hills. These leks, as they’re called, include a hollow dish very carefully cut of all plant life. A whole system of leks is connected with each other by lengthy tracks running greater than 100 feet in any type of instructions.

These leks act as a practical area where they can date females. This courtship entails an abundant display screen in which the male will certainly inflate his breast, bob his head, and relayed a substantial audio throughout the evening that can lug for half a mile in all instructions on the wind. Males generate these noises from an one-of-a-kind air cavity in their thorax.

When he draws in passion from a prospective friend, the male will certainly seal the take care of a short courtship dancing. After meeting his reproductive obligation, he will certainly leave the scene, leaving the female with the complete duty for constructing the nest, nurturing the eggs, and increasing the chicks. The mom will certainly generate just a couple of eggs, often spaced months apart. After regarding 1 month of incubation, the chicks arise from the eggs primitive and defenseless (the technological term for this primitive state is altricial). As stated formerly, the mom leaves the chicks untended for extended periods of time to look for food. The chicks are most vulnerable now in their lives.

If they endure this first phase, the chicks will certainly leave the nest after regarding 3.5 months, when they expand their complete plumes. The normal kakapo has a lengthy life expectancy of 45 to 60 years in the wild (though it’s been recommended that they could have a life-span approximately 100 years). The female reaches sex-related maturation at around 9 years old and just recreates when every 2 to 4 years usually, which might add to their sluggish population development.

Kakapo Population

When extensive throughout the majority of New Zealand, the bird started a fast decrease after the arrival of European inhabitants up until it struck a reduced of around 50 or 60 people by the late 20th century. Just well- intended preservation initiatives conserved them from utmost termination. The continuing to be people were moved to 3 overseas island shelters, where they were withoutpredators From this reduced population, guardians have actually made some invasions to restoring the species. Today regarding 200 kakapos stay in the wild. However due to the reduced hereditary variety, contemporary kakapos have issues with condition resistance and the inability to conceive. DNA sequencing permits guardians to create a kakapo ancestral tree to assist decrease inbreeding.


  1. Britannica, Available here: https://www.britannica.com/animal/kakapo
  2. Animal Diversity Web, Available here: https://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Strigops_habroptila/

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