Also known as the New Zealand Bush Parrot, the Kaka is a species endemic to New Zealand. Few birds are so perfectly adapted to living and feeding entirely in the forest.
The Kaka is a fast flier, has a powerful beak and a varied diet. It eats mainly insects and their larvae as well as many kinds of nectar, seeds and succulent forest fruit. The species feeds in noisy flocks, particularly early in the morning and late in the evening. It holds fruit or flowers up to its bill with its foot and uses its beak to steady itself as it peers and stretches under and over the vegetation. Its song varies from a familiar harsh grating cry to a remarkable variety of soft, melodious notes, heard most often during nesting.
|The Kaka lives and breeds in native forest on the main and larger coastal islands. They prefer low and mid-altitude forest where they flock above the canopy and feed mainly in the upper tier. They nest in hollow trees three to six meters above the ground. The breeding season is between September and March and the incubation period is about 24 days. The nestlings remain in the nest for some time, usually 9 to 10 weeks and are tended by both parents.|
There are two distinct varieties of Kaka - a North Island and a South Island species - with subtle colour and size differences. Once plentiful on both main islands, the future of the Kaka is now under threat on the mainland. Introduced mammalian predators, as well as the destruction of much of its habitat, threaten the species.
Certificate accompanying the 1996 New Zealand Proof Set - Reserve Bank of New Zealand, 1996.
The Kaka is featured on the following New Zealand coin:
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Last modified: 05 December, 2007