All About North Island Kokako NZ


Exciting News – About the Kokako (bird)

Photo Credit

The Kokako, is coming back to Taranaki, it makes me very happy.

It is nearly 20 years since we seen the Kokako in Taranaki NZ.

The Department of Conservation (DOC) has agreed that the Kokako can be reintroduced in Taranaki.

They will be relocated in the Parininihi Forest a 2,000 hectare of land stretching from Whitecliffs near Urenui inland to Mount Messenger.

The birds to be released are descendants of Taranaki, the last Kokako which was named Tamonui, was captured by DOC in 1999 and relocated due to the threat posed by pests, such as rats, stoats and possums, and wild goats.

The North Island Kokako had only 400 pairs in 1999.

Today there are estimated about 1600 hundred pairs of Kokako in the North Island of New Zealand.

Facts about the Kokako

The Kokako has a blue-grey body with a blue wattle, juveniles have pink or lilac wattles.

They are a poor flier and seldom flies more than 100 meters.

The wings of this species are relatively short and rounded.

It prefers to hop and leap from branch to branch on its powerful gray legs.

It does not fly so much as glide and when seen exhibiting this behavior they will generally scramble up tall trees such as rimu and matai before gliding to others nearby.

They have a beautiful, clear, organ-like song. Its call can carry for kilometers. Breeding pairs sing together in a bell-like duet for up to an hour in the early morning.

Their diet consists of leaves, fern fronds, flowers, fruit, and invertebrates.

They laid two-three pinkish-grey eggs in cup nests up trees. Incubation is by the female alone for about 18 days. Both adults feed the nestlings.

Young fledge at 32-37 days old, and so nests are vulnerable to predation for about 7 weeks.

Fledged young usually remain in parents’ territory for a few months, up to a year, and continue to be fed by both parents.


    • Sorry I never got back to you, no I have never seen a live one, but I do feel as though they are part of my life and hopefully I will before it is too late.
      Hope you have had a wonderful week, loved reading about your family in the new series you have started writing about as a stepmother. You were very brave to take that challenge on.


  1. Thank you for telling so vividly about the Kokako, I had little knowledge about them.
    Your description of their song will now make me search it out on the web. Sounds wonderful. Duet! How sweet.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is such a sweet looking bird. The purple piece of skin (the wattle) by its beak is so unique! So glad they are going to be allowed to propagate. Thanks, dear for sharing. Smiles, Robin

    Liked by 1 person

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