Hihi volunteer needed

Date posted: 18-Oct-2018

Would you like to volunteer with the Island's hihi team and learn from them how ..

2019 Calendars now available

Date posted: 05-Sep-2018

The new 2019 calendars are now available and this year's is better than ever! Th..

Winners of kokako photo competition

Date posted: 02-Sep-2018

The stunning winning photographs from those submitted to the competition as part..

Kokako Celebration

Date posted: 21-Jul-2018


Kokako Photographic Competition

Date posted: 20-Jul-2018

KŌKAKO PHOTOGRAPHIC COMPETITION Celebrating 21 years on Tiritiri Matangi To ce..

New monitoring reports published

Date posted: 19-Jul-2018

Reports on monitoring studies carried out over the past year have now been poste..

2018 Concert coming up soon

Date posted: 15-Feb-2018

Our 2018 concert will feature an afternoon of light classics and jazz courtesy of the Auckland Ph..

Wetapunga talk coming soon

Date posted: 05-Feb-2018

For the Social on 19 March the speaker will be Ben Goodwin of Auckland Zoo, who will talk about t..

Rat caught and now takahe released from pens

Date posted: 28-Jan-2018

Thankfully DOC staff Andre de Graaf and Polly Hall and their assistants have trapped the rat whic..

Your Christmas Shopping for a Song

Date posted: 04-Dec-2017

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

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.