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Also Known As: New Zealand Kaka

Kaka feeding

Credit: © Shutterstock

Did You Know?
The kaka has a fringed tongue, which helps it to feed on nectar. The only other parrots with this type of adaptation are the lories and lorikeets.

Species Profile


Size: Adult Weight:
45cm (17.5 in) 900g (31.5 oz)

Races including nominate:
two: N.m. meridionalis, N.m. septentrionalis

Colourization Adult:
N.m. meridionalis: male-forehead to back of neck grey/white; neck and abdomen brown/red; dark red on hindneck, with feathers margined yellow/brown; olive/brown breast; ear coverts yellow/orange; brown back and wings, mantle some feathers margined red; rump to tail coverts red, tipped dark brown; underwing coverts and bars on underwing red; tail brown with lighter tips. Bill brown/grey; eye dark brown. Female-bill shorter than male, less decurved upper mandible. N.m. septentrionalis: both adults generally duller in colour; back and wings darker olive/brown, feathers margined darker; breast darker brown, hindneck duller red; forehead to back of head pale grey.

Colourization Juvenile:
N.m. meridionalis: as in adult but base of lower mandible yellow. N.m. septentrionalis: as in adult.

Call: Calls in flight harsh and grating, also ringing. Also variety of yodelling notes.

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Recent Academic Research: Google Scholar - search results


Content Sources:

Lexicon of Parrots


BirdLife International

Internet Bird Collection

ML Media Collection Catalogue 77525, Kaka Nestor meridionalis, Robbins, Mark, New Zealand, Dec. 19 1990, Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Parrots: A Guide to Parrots of the World, Juniper and Parr, 1998.

Parrots: Status Survey and Conservation Plan 2000-2004, Snyder, McGowan, Gilardi and Grajal, 2000.

Parrots of the World, Forshaw and Cooper, 1977.

Parrots of the World, Forshaw, 2006.

Parrots in Aviculture, Low, 1992.

Parrots: Their Care and Breeding, Low, 1986.