North Island kōkako
The kōkako belongs to the endemic New Zealand wattlebirds (Callaeidae), an ancient family of birds which includes the North and South Island saddleback and the extinct huia.
The kōkako is the only member of its family still surviving on the mainland. A dark bluish-grey bird with a long tail and short wings, it has a pair of brightly coloured, fleshy "wattles" extending from either side of its gape to meet below the neck.
The North Island kōkako has blue wattles, while the South Island kōkako has orange or yellow wattles. The bird is not particularly good at flying and prefers to use its powerful legs to leap and run through the forest.
Can you name a difference between a North Island and South Island kōkako? Visit this section to view facts about kōkako.
Kōkako were common in the early 1900s but habitat loss and introduced predators now threaten their survival.
Monitoring, breeding kōkako in captivity and then releasing them to pest-free offshore islands are some of the ways DOC is working to save this threatened species.
Whether you're interested in volunteering, being involved in campaigns to save kōkako habitat or financially supporting kōkako conservation efforts, there are a number of ways you can help save kōkako.
Here’s a riddle for you: What’s bluish-grey, has a long tail and short wings, hops from branch to branch and was close to extinction up until the 1990s? Watch this video to learn more.
The Mangaroa/Ohotu kōkako relocation was made possible through imagination, dedication, modern technology and the kōkako’s own song.
The famous kōkako Duncan captured hearts across the country this month with his great escape; here’s his story…
New Zealand Birds Online Encyclopedia of New Zealand birds
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