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North Island Kokako

From Opus

Photo © by Bruce WinsladeTiritiri Matangi Island, New Zealand, 15 August 2006
Photo © by Bruce Winslade
Tiritiri Matangi Island, New Zealand, 15 August 2006
Callaeas wilsoni

Contents

[edit] Identification

38 cm (about 15 in), 230g (8 oz).
Adult:

  • Dark blue grey plumage
  • Blue wattles
  • Black facial mask
  • Arched black bill
  • Long black legs
  • Rounded wings and long tail

Sexes similar. The juvenile has small pinkish wattles, a smaller facial mask and a dull brown wash over the plumage.

[edit] Similar Species

The similar South Island Kokako has orange wattles. It reportedly became extinct by 2007 with the last confirmed sighting in 1967.

[edit] Distribution

Endemic North Island, New Zealand. Very rare on the mainland, mainly found on some small offshore islands like Tiritiri Matangi. In 2008 the global population was 769 breeding pairs which steadily increased to 1400 pairs by 2014. As a consequence it is now listed as Near Threatened by IUCN. Increases where intensive conservation is practised, still declining elsewhere. Predation by introduced Black Rat, Stoat, Feral Cats and Common Brushtail Possum main cause for decline, but also habitat fragmentation.

[edit] Taxonomy

This is a monotypic species.[1]
Formerly considered conspecific with South Island Kokako.

[edit] Habitat

Lowland podocarp-tawa hardwood forest with diverse understorey. Occurs from sea-level up to 900m.

[edit] Behaviour

Secretive. Usually seen in pairs, singly or in family groups. A sedentary species.

[edit] Diet

Feeds on leaves and fruit. Takes also flowers, buds, nectar and invertebrates. Changes from one abundant food source to another throughout year.

[edit] Breeding

Breeding season in austral spring and summer, sometimes in early autumn when food abundant. Up to three or four broods a year. The nest is a cup-shaped structure made of coarse twigs and bound together with moss or lichens. It's placed in a tree fork, the top of a tree-fern or among mass of lianas, mostly in understorey or subcanopy. Lays 1 - 3 eggs.

[edit] Vocalisation

Famous for its hauntingly beautiful song, given all year. A loud 30-second sequence of rich, slow, organ-like notes is produced by both sexes (sometimes in duet). The birds start to sing at sunrise and continue for some 60 to 90 minutes.

[edit] References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Del Hoyo, J, A Elliott, and D Christie, eds. 2009. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 14: Bush-shrikes to Old World Sparrows. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8496553507
  3. BirdLife International. 2016. Callaeas wilsoni. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T103730482A104102611. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T103730482A104102611.en. Downloaded on 14 March 2017.
  4. Scofield, P. & Christie, D.A. (2017). North Island Kokako (Callaeas wilsoni). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from http://www.hbw.com/node/60596 on 14 March 2017).
  5. Higgins,P.J.; Peter, J.M.; Cowling, S.J. (eds.) 2006. Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic birds. Vol. 7, boatbill to starlings. Oxford University Press, Melbourne.
  6. Innes, J. 2013 [updated 2017]. North Island kokako. In Miskelly, C.M. (ed.) New Zealand Birds Online. http://ww.nzbirdsonline.org.nz

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