New Wildside video

Date posted: 29-Jul-2016

Click here (https://blog.doc.govt.nz/2016/06/21/tiritiri-matangi-volunteers/) to view a wo..

2016 Photo competetion winners

Date posted: 04-Jun-2016

This year's winning photographs have been decided. Click here (/photocomp2016) to see the wonder..

Great new ferry fares for Supporters

Date posted: 04-Jun-2016

Thanks to our ferry company, 360 Discovery (https://www.fullers.co.nz/destinations/tiritiri-mata..

More plaudits for Tiritiri Matangi

Date posted: 04-Jun-2016

Recognition of the wonderful experience visitors have when visiting the Island has been recognis..

Reports for 2015-2016

Date posted: 04-Jun-2016

Reports for the 2015-16 breeding season for kokako and hihi have been added to the website. ..

Guided walks for Photographers

Date posted: 07-Apr-2016

If your interest is in wildlife photography please join us on Tiritiri Matangi Islan..

Nukes Aloud on Tiritiri Matangi

Date posted: 07-Feb-2016

Our 2016 musical event will take place on the 5th March. This year we are hosting the Nukes, a d..

New video from DOC

Date posted: 06-Feb-2016

Staff at the Department of Conservation have produced a stunning new video of the Island to temp..

New Help Page

Date posted: 24-Nov-2015

We have a new help page on our website where we will occasionally post requests for assistance. ..

New chairperson for the Supporters

Date posted: 24-Sep-2015

At our Annual General Meeting, held on Monday 21st September, a new chairperson and committee we..

North Island Kokako

Scientific name:

 Callaeas wilsoni

 

 

Conservation status

 Endemic, At risk - recovering

Mainland status:

 N.I only, mainly northern Urewera

Size:

 38cm, 230g

Lifespan:

 20+ Years

Breeding:

 October - December

Diet:

 Mainly foliage and fruit, some invertebrates

First introduced to Tiri:

 3 birds in 1997

Population on Tiri:

 Normally 20-30 birds

Total population:

 Around 2,000 in 2012


Kokako - photographer: Alex MitchellBelonging to the wattlebird family, an ancient group of birds, North Island kōkako have bright blue wattles at the base of the bill. Their plumage is mainly grey with a bluish tinge, they have long black legs, short rounded wings, a long tail, and a black facial mask. The juveniles are have pink wattles which slowly turn to lilac, then blue as they mature. The South Island sub-species, officially regarded as extinct, had orange wattles.

Because their wings are short relative to their body size, kōkako are poor fliers, preferring to move through the forest by bounding from tree to tree on their strong legs. They will fly short distances and often glide from the tree tops down to the lower branches or forest floor, but their wings are too weak for them to fly upwards.

They form life-long pairs and seldom stray from their permanent territories, preferring tall, mixed podocarp and hardwood forests with a high diversity of plant species. They feed on leaves all year round at all levels of the forest; they also eat fruits when available and invertebrates during summer and autumn, especially when feeding chicks. During the weeks prior to nesting, the male frequently feeds the female (see photo below).

The kōkako is notable for its haunting, mournful organ- or flute-like calls, often heard shortly after dawn. Other calls include a range of soft clucks and cat-like mewing notes.

Three kōkako (2 males and 1 female) were released on Tiritiri Matangi in 1997, followed by four more male birds in 1998. Of the original three birds, one male was predated immediately after release, but the remaining pair has lived in Wattle Valley for many years and raised over 20 chicks, most of which have been removed from the Island to other areas.

Detailed information about the kōkako on Tiritiri Matangi can be found here.

Click here to view a film (48 Mb) of Te Rae and Chatters feeding their chicks on their nest near the Kawerau Track in December 2013.

Click here to view a short film (90 Mb) of a pair of kōkako feeding their chicks in the Hunuas. 
 
And you can learn more about the North Island kōkako at New Zealand Birds Online.
  

Photography by: Alex Mitchell © (top right) and Kay Milton © (bottom left)

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