Your Christmas Shopping for a Song

Date posted: 04-Dec-2017

Aka - The Grand Christmas Shopping Expedition to Tiritiri Matangi Island Shop Dreading..

2018 Photo Comp opens for entries

Date posted: 27-Nov-2017

The 2018 Photo Competition is now open for entries. Click here (/2018-photo-competition-tiritiri-mat..

New reports on ruru nesting and Island conservation

Date posted: 02-Oct-2017

Two new reports have been added to the website. The first gives details of a summer students..

2018 calendars now available

Date posted: 27-Sep-2017

Our latest calendar, beautifully illustrated with images taken on the Island, is now available fo..

Guided walks for photographers

Date posted: 21-Jun-2017

For a wonderful day of wildlife photography please join us on Tiritiri Matangi Island for a Ph..

Ferry discounts for Supporters

Date posted: 18-May-2017

Tiritiri Matangi Island, the perfect winter's day trip. The birds are at their best, warm up w..

More kiwi for the Island

Date posted: 04-Apr-2017

In 1993 and 1995, sixteen little spotted kiwi were released on Tiritiri Matangi Island. The ma..

2017 Photo Competition

Date posted: 22-Mar-2017

It is that time of year again when we are looking for entries for our photo competition (and phot..

The 2017 concert

Date posted: 05-Feb-2017

This year's concert promises to be another wonderful and unique experience. Click here (/concert-..

Shorebird Film Festival at Devonport

Date posted: 26-Oct-2016

Click here (/miscellaneous documents/DevWaderFilms.jpg) for details of a forthcoming film festival c..

North Island Kaka

Scientific name:

 Nestor meridionalis septentrionalis



Conservation status

 Endemic, Nationally vulnerable

Mainland status:

 Limited in range but common in some areas


 46cm, 1kg (males) 800g (females)


 20 years +


 September - January


 Fruit, seeds, nectar and insects

Kaka - photographer: Peter CrawThe North Island kākā is a large forest parrot, mainly olive brown, with a dark crimson collar, crimson under-wings with dark edged feathers and crimson rump.  

Kākā prefer to eat seeds, fruit, nectar and insects, sometimes tapping the sap from the bark of beech, mountain tōtara, and southern rātā.  Their powerful beak allows them to rip bark off trees and their delicate brush tipped tongue is used to take nectar from flowers.

The kākā is a cavity breeder and makes its nest in a shallow bowl in hollow branches and trunks of old or dying trees. Eggs are laid between September and January and incubated only by the female for about 24 days. The chicks fledge at about 60-70 days old, remaining with the parents for a further five months. The male's role during this breeding period is to feed the female on the nest and to help with caring for the chicks.

The kākā has a variety of calls, the main one, uttered in flight, is a loud bell-like call, often a single note but sometimes repeated several times.  They can screech and make other chatty parrot-like calls.

Kaka in Kowhai - photography by Dr Kerry RodgersKākā have not been released on Tiritiri Matangi and neither have they bred there - yet. The occasional sightings are becoming more frequent. The nearest large population is on little Barrier Island/Hauturu, from where they have spread to breed at Tawharanui Regional Park.

Learn more about kākā at New Zealand Birds Online.

Photography by: Peter Craw © (right) Dr Kerry Rodgers © (left)

References: Heather, B.D.; Robertson, H.A. 2000 The Field Guide to the Birds of New Zealand. Auckland, Viking.