New Zealand- the country’s national symbols is the bizarre Kiwi, has a number of flightless birds. Reading the exceptional book written by Richard Dawkins “The Greatest Show on Earth – the Evidence for Evolution” we came across an opening about another one of New Zealand’s native, ground-nesting birds – the Kakapo. The Kakapo was spread all through the three main islands of New Zealand before the arrival of humans. It lived in a variety of environment, including tussocklands, scrublands, and coastal areas. It also settled forests, including those dominated by podocarps (rimu, matai, kahikatea, totara), beeches, tawa, and rata. In Fiordland, areas of avalanche and slip debris with regenerating and lot fruiting vegetation – such as five finger, wineberry, bush lawyer, tutu, hebes, and coprosmas, which became known as Kakapo gardens. The Kakapo is world’s biggest rotund parrot. The male Kakapo measures up to 60 cm (24 in) and weighs from 2 – 4 kg (4 to 9 lb) at adulthood. The Kakapo is a big parrot, its ancestors could fly but it adapted to a life on the ground and as a result, it lost the ability to fly The Kakapo cannot fly because it has short wings for its size. Again, it has lacking the pronounced keel bone (sternum) that affixes the flight muscles of other birds. The short wings of Kakapo help for balance, support, and to break its fall when leaping from trees. The Kakapo has characteristics like Bear as the Kakapo can gather large amounts of body fat to store energy, which making it the biggest and heaviest parrot.
The Kakapo parrot looks very beautiful. It has colorful feathers, which makes it gorgeous. The higher parts of the Kakapo have yellowish moss-green feathers barred or spotted with black or dark brownish grey, combination well with inhabitant shrubbery. The breast and border are yellowish-green speckled with yellow color. The tummy, under tail, neck, and face are primarily yellowish, speckled with pale green and dimly stippled with brownish-grey. The feathers are remarkably soft because the feathers do not need the strength and stiffness required for flight. The ends of the tail feathers often become shabby from being dragged on the ground. The Kakapo has an eye-catching facial of fine feathers, which resembles the face of an owl. That is why the early European settlers called it the owl parrot. The whiskers are around the beak, which the bird uses to sense the ground for directions finding as it go with its head lowered. The eyes of the Kakapo are dark brown. For huge size, its feet are large, scaly, and like all other parrots its two toes face forward and two backward, which called -zygodactyls. The well-defined claws are mainly useful for climbing trees. Having a ground-nesting bird, it has developed strong legs. One Kakapo can move many kilometers or miles. A female Kakapo has been observed making two return trips each night during nesting from her nest to a food source up to 1 km (0.6 mile), away. Whereas the male Kakapo may walk from its home range to a mating field up to 5 km (3 mile) away during the mating season, which is on October to January.
The male and the female Kakapo have few differences with their body characteristics. For which the female is easily distinguished from the male. The female Kakapo has a narrower and less domed head; her beak is narrower and proportionally longer. Her cere and nostrils are smaller. Her legs and feet are more lean and pinkish grey, and her tail proportionally longer. However, the color of other part of the body is not very dissimilar to that of male.
The Kakapo is mainly a bird of the night as it roosts beneath in trees or on the ground during the day and moves around its territories at night. Kakapo is normally herbivorous. It eats local plants, seeds, fruits, pollens and even the sapwood of trees. It is mostly loving of the fruit of the rimu tree, and will feed on it completely during seasons when it is abundant. According to the season, Kakapo changes its diet. The plants that Kakapos eat most frequently during the year include some species of Lycopodium ramulosum, Lycopodium fastigium, Schizaea fistulosa.
The world’s biggest parrot Kakapo has a variety of calls. As well as the booms and chings of their mating calls. They often call kraark to pronounce its place to other birds. The Kakapo has a highly sensitive sense of smell, which complements its nocturnal lifestyle. One of the most remarkable characteristics of the Kakapo is its pleasant and powerful odour, which has been described as musty. The quality of smell often warn predators to the largely defenseless Kakapo.
World’s biggest parrot Kakapo may also be the longest-lived bird in the world. The Kakapo has a supposed life expectancy of about 90 years. Scientists have not found any Kakapos, which have yet died of old age and the chances are that some of the adolescents will live longer than the people who are studying them. The Kakapos seem to do all more slowly than the other birds. That is why according to the scientists these creatures tend to live life in the slow lane. The Kakapo is the only type of flightless parrot in the world, and the only flightless bird that has a lek-breeding organism. Males freely gather in a field and compete with each other to attract females. Females listen to the males as they display or lek. They want a mate based on the quality of his display. However, the males and females meet only to mate; they do not pair any other time.
Now the world’s biggest parrot Kakapo is a species of extinction. However, Scientists in New Zealand have tried to save the world’s biggest parrot from the edge of extinction. The inhabitants of the flightless kakapo have surpassed 100 birds for the earliest time in decades. Tim Groser, New Zealand’s Conservation Minister warned of a long road ahead before the kakapo’s future was secure.