Friday, March 4, 2011


The kokako (Callaeas cinerea) is a species of forest bird found in few islands in New Zealand and near it.  It is endangered due to introduction of alien species and habitat loss.  It is one of the three species of the wattlebird family, the others being the extinct huia and the endangered tieke.

Physical Features
The kokako is like a pigeon, measuring 39 cm (15 inches) and has a wingspan of 48 cm (19 inches).  They weigh 227 grams and have longer legs than pigeons.  Compared to pigeons, they have longer tails but shorter wings.  They have blue wattle folds beneath their beaks with make them different and recognizable.  Their feathers are steel gray and they have a jet black face mask.  Immature kokakos do not have light face masks and lack the wattles.  The South Island kokako has orange wattles with only a patch of blue.

Kokako feeding on berries
The kokako feeds on leaves, berries, mosses, ferns, cones and they even eat insects in necessary.  They always pluck their food with the help of only one claw.

The kokakos are poor flyers.  They prefer to leap from one branch to the other with their powerful and long legs.  Koakos making terrific calls.  Their calls can be heard from meters away.  Mating pairs normally sing a duet song for one hour in the morning.  They can maximum fly for 100 meters continuously and then they glide.  They are normally compared to a flying squirrel

Life Cycle
Kokakos make nests of twigs and mosses where they lay their eggs.They lay up to 3 eggs.  The eggs have an incubation period of 20 days and the young fledge after 30 days.

Distribution and Habitat
The kokakos are found in the North Island and Great Barrier island of New Zealand.  They are considered to be extinct in the South Island.  They prefer to live in lowland and mountain forests in New Zealand.  Kokakos are endemic to New Zealand.

Conservation Status
The kokakos are endangered in many parts of its range.  It is considered to be extinct in the South Island.  It recently has been introduced to 3 islands in New Zealand.  Their are estimated fewer than 400 pairs remaining in the world.  They are mainly endangered due to habitat loss as people cut them down for timber.

Source of pict 1 and pict 2

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