Top 10 Facts about the Kakapo

The Kakapo is also called an Owl Parrot and it’s a species large, flightless, nocturnal, ground-dwelling parrot found in New Zealand. Kakapos have a finely blotched yellow-green plumage.

Kakapo has a distinct facial disc of sensory vibrissa like feathers. A large grey beak, short legs, large feet and wings and a tail that is relatively short in length.

The Kakapo is the world’s only flightless parrot and it is also the heaviest parrot in the world. The Kakapo is critically endangered and there is a total known population of 126 living individuals as reported by Kakapo recovery programme.

The Kakapo is primarily nocturnal and roosts undercover in trees along the ground during the day and moves around its territories at night As they have lost the ability to fly, they have strong legs and move by way of a rapid jog like gait by which they can move many kilometres.

It is a large rotund parrot, and the male measures up to 60cm and weighs in at between 2-4kg at maturity.

Kakapos are herbivores and enjoy eating native plants, seeds, fruits, pollen, and even the sapwood of trees. It is particularly fond of the fruit of the rimu tree and will feed on it exclusively during seasons when it is abundant.

Each of the remaining 126 living individuals has been given a name by the Kakapo recovery programme which helps them to keep track of them.

Although the Kakapo cannot fly it is an excellent climber and ascends to the crowns of the tallest trees.

It can also parachute, descending by leaping and spreading its wings. In this way, it may travel a few metres at an angle of fewer than 45 degrees. The Kakapo is associated with a rich tradition of Maori folklore and beliefs.

The bird’s irregular breeding cycle is understood to be an associated with heavy fruiting or masting events of a particular plant species such as the Rimu which led Maori to credit the bird with the ability to foretell the future.