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Natives

North Island Kaka

north island kaka

Nestor meridionalis septentrionalis

Distribution:

Scattered populations throughout the North Island

Habitat:

Lowland native forest

Diet:

Insects, seeds, foliage, fruit and nectar

Breeding:

September to March

Nest:

Usually in hollow trees preferably on warm, north-facing slopes, lined with wood dust and wood chips

Eggs:

Up to five eggs incubated for around 35 days

Chicks:

Chicks fledge by 9-12 weeks, when the male takes over most of their care

Predators:

Introduced mammals

Conservation status:

Endangered

General:

The kaka is a large parrot belonging to the family that includes the cheeky kea and the extinct Norfolk Island kaka.

The birds are mainly diurnal but are active at night during fine weather or a full moon. Flocks of boisterous kaka gather in the early morning and late evening to socialise – their amusing antics and raucous voice led the Maori to refer to them as chattering and gossiping.

Kaka have a brush tongue which they use to extract nectar from flowers.

The kaka has greatly declined, in part from habitat loss, and in part because of introduced wasps, possums and bees, which compete with the kaka for the honeydew excreted by scale insects.