• BirdForum is the net's largest birding community dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE!

    Register for an account to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Kakapo on Ulva Island New Zealand (1 Viewer)

w3parakeet

Well-known member
I had heard that a male kakapo had been allowed a holiday on Ulva island which is just across the water from Stewart Island. I visited Ulva Island back in February and our guide was Ulva Goodwillie. I sent her a message asking if there was any chance she could either post a picture of Sirocco or send me one. Ulva very kindly sent me a snap which I have now posted and this is what she had to say about one of only 86 Kakapo.

"Sirocco is absolutely gorgeous. 9yrs old and a real star. He loves the limelight and gets raucous when we turn away to leave after murmuring admiring accolades to his handsomeness. Our evening walks have been going for two weeks now and have eight weeks left. I'm not sure if the Department of Conservation will allow us to show a kakapo again, he's the friendliest of the 86 that we have left in the world. His feathers are exactly like the blechnum fern. In fact when he is amongst the ferns, unless he turns his head you can not tell the difference, even when you're looking straight at him.

Photos are notoriously hard to take in the dark and we are not allowed flashes. I hope my photo is clear enough for you - it was the best of about 20 that I took - the one attached was just fortunate that his head went under the headlight of the kakapo minder and the white spots are rain on the perspex surrounding the huge pen in the middle of the bush. Did you know kakapo has a aroma? Sort of like the freesia flower. Truly! Apparently that's how most of them vanished - predators found them really easily.

If you can get it on to the website you were referring to, please feel free. Just advertise that its at the world's southernmost bird sanctuary. And of course you can put my name if you wish...

Yours in bird heaven,
Ulva

Ulva Goodwillie
Specialist Natural History Guide
Ulva's Guided Walks
Ulva Island Bird Sanctuary
PO Box 85, Stewart Island, NZ
p: 64 3 219 1216 m: 0276 881 332
e: [email protected] w: www.ulva.co.nz
You have been sent 1 picture.
 

w3parakeet

Well-known member
Jane Turner said:
That is it..... I'm, on my way. Might take me a few years like, but I will be visiting!

Sirocco has only been loaned by DOC until 23 October, then he's back to Codfish Island. That means out of sight for mere mortals. Codfish is off limits to anyone but Department of Conservation, NZ. Best you get your skates on. Ulva is worth a visit even without the Kakapo.
 

Isurus

Well-known member
w3parakeet said:
Sirocco has only been loaned by DOC until 23 October, then he's back to Codfish Island. That means out of sight for mere mortals. Codfish is off limits to anyone but Department of Conservation, NZ. Best you get your skates on. Ulva is worth a visit even without the Kakapo.

maybe a stupid qustion but whats a male doing on the island on his own? is there a plan to introduce a few more eventually?
 

w3parakeet

Well-known member
Isurus said:
maybe a stupid qustion but whats a male doing on the island on his own? is there a plan to introduce a few more eventually?

I honestly dont know the ins and outs of how Ulva even managed to persuade the NZ DOC to loan just one Kakapo never mind a pair. I think, and will stand corrected by anyone, that there is a limited breeding period each year and this falls over the southern summer (nov-mar) thus there is no point pairing up the Kakapos for the loan period. There is plenty of info on the NZ government website which I'm sure I can post. http://www.kakaporecovery.org.nz
 

Tim Hall

Worcestershire County Cricket in Exile
Shame he wasn't there last February when we went! Still a stunning place with fantastic wildlife anyway.
 

ed keeble

Well-known member
w3parakeet said:
I honestly dont know the ins and outs of how Ulva even managed to persuade the NZ DOC to loan just one Kakapo never mind a pair. I think, and will stand corrected by anyone, that there is a limited breeding period each year and this falls over the southern summer (nov-mar) thus there is no point pairing up the Kakapos for the loan period. There is plenty of info on the NZ government website which I'm sure I can post. http://www.kakaporecovery.org.nz

Here's the official version from the Ulva Island Trust-

"The idea of hosting a Kakapo was made possible by two years of negotiation with the Department of Conservation's Kakapo Recovery group, and the availability of 'Sirocco', a hand reared male who is not involved in the breeding programme. We see this as a double opportunity; A rare chance for interested persons to see one of the worlds conservation icons, and an opportunity to showcase Ulva Island and the huge level of Southern conservation success it embodies."

http://www.glowingsky.co.nz/Kakapo/kakapo.html
 
sigh... If only I'd remembered to earmark $5K USD in this year's budget for spontaneous birding trips, we'd be there in a flash (a 20-hour flash, that is.) ;)

I hope for the sake of the kakapo that this is not a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, i.e. that the population grows enough that at some point over the next 30 years or so, a population could be established on Tiri or some other accessible island.

e
 

Big Phil

Well-known member
I had the pleasure of seeing Sirocco last week!.

Kinda mixed feelings about the experience - an absolutely magnificent bird, but the situation is very staged, and the bird is totally imprinted on his handler. On the other hand the young kids who went to see him were absolutely enthralled, which was great to see.

I attach some photos that don't do Sirocco justice (no flash allowed of course). ...

Cheers

Phil
 

Attachments

  • kakapo1.jpg
    kakapo1.jpg
    109.4 KB · Views: 133
  • kakapo2.jpg
    kakapo2.jpg
    67 KB · Views: 138
  • kakapo3.jpg
    kakapo3.jpg
    55.2 KB · Views: 112

w3parakeet

Well-known member
I'd a few messages from Ulva herself explaining the setup. I presumed to protect the bird from any harm unintentional or otherwise he was in a pen? Better that than nothing I guess, still you've seen a Kakapo and not many can say that! Thanks for posting the pics.
 

Big Phil

Well-known member
w3parakeet said:
I'd a few messages from Ulva herself explaining the setup. I presumed to protect the bird from any harm unintentional or otherwise he was in a pen? Better that than nothing I guess, still you've seen a Kakapo and not many can say that! Thanks for posting the pics.

Yes he is in a round perspex pen for viewing, I think he has a larger fenced area to live in. They have to be really carefull on Ulva because it is not 100% rodent free (it is open access to anyone with a boat) and also Weka can be a predator (I don't think there are any on the Kakapo breeding Islands). They'll be returning the boy to one of the breeding islands this summer, hopefully he'll lure in a lady Kakapo to his 'track and bowl' this time (apparently he was more interested in getting it on with Humans last time round!).
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top