- First of all, the quite remarkable Kakapo also goes by several other common names, just as many species do. In its particular case, these include names such as the night parrot and the owl parrot.
- In addition, this small, flightless bird also evolved as endemic to a highly restricted and rather isolated portion of the world. Sadly, however, this fact has not protected it as much as one might wish.
- As a result, this truly remarkable bird now sadly finds itself facing serious threats to its continued existence as a species. Its greatest threats include habitat loss, climate change, and also non-indigenous predators, such as cats, ferrets, rats, and stoats.
- Due to these various depredations, its known population only totals 148 extant individuals, as of April 2018. For this reason, among others, the IUCN now lists the amazing bird species as Critically Endangered.
Kakapo Physical Description
Perhaps the most notable fact about the truly surprising Kakapo, rather surprisingly, remains its physical size. That’s because this fascinaing animal ranks as rather small, compared to some of the other flightless birds throughout the world.
This avian resembles a rather rotund parrot. The species also presents a moderate degree of sexual dimorphism. The larger males average about 4.4 lb (2 kg) in weight. Meanwhile, the smaller, and slightly less rotund, females only average about 3.3 lb (1.5 kg).
In coloring, the bird typically presents a striking combination of yellowish-green colors. Plus, this appears mottled with brownish gray or black on the upper side. The flank and breast also tend to have the same background colors, but the mottling consists of yellow.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Aves
- Order: Psittaciformes
- Family: Strigopidae
- Genus: Strigops
- Species: S. habroptila
Kakapo Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
The quite incredible Kakapo evolved as native solely to an extremely restricted habitat range. In fact, it only lives in what now comprises the island nation of New Zealand, near Australia. Currently, it only exists on three islands kept free of predators.
However, the tiny avian display impressive adaptability. That holds true because, in its native habitat, the avian inhabits a multitude of environments. These vary, of course, but often include forests, scrublands, grasslands, and also coastal areas.
But, although it adapts well in regards to it range, it still maintains certain behavior patterns. As a result, the bird primarily lives and feeds in a nocturnal manner. During the day it usually prefers to roost under various forms of cover.
It doesn’t let its grounded state slow it down, however. While the Kakapo remains incapable of light, it adapted into an extremely accomplished climber. The amazing creature uses this highly useful skill to find its food in the trees.
Finally, it also differentiates itself from its fellows in another manner. Unlike most other birds, this species remains entirely herbivorous. It usually feeds on a variety of seeds, leaves, fruits, and stems.