Kiwi birds… but not the Kiwi.

A while ago I went to Lake Te Anau the largest lake of the South Island, New Zealand.

Just outside of the township is the Department of Conservation Te Anau Bird Sanctuary.

A major part of their work is in protecting our endangered birds as well as taking in injured native birds and nursing them back to health. A major reason for some of our native birds being endangered is due to them being flightless, which means they cannot escape the predators that have been introduced such as opossums and stoats.

New Zealand has some quirky native birds, the most famous of which is the Kiwi, a flightless, nocturnal bird with hair like feathers, whiskers and nostrils at the end of its long beak.

There are others that are also odd and just a little quirky – the weka, takehe, and kakapo for instance.

AND… They have character and we all know that can go a long way!!

Ladies and Gentlemen may I present the characterful Kaka, Kakapo and Takehe who were in residence on my visit to the Sanctuary


The Kaka is a cheeky and chatty parrot who is notorious for these qualities and when you meet one is it obvious to see why.  This fellow did not stop talking the entire time and I have to say he was well aware I wanted to take his photo and made it difficult for me by  walking around his bowl keeping his back to me.  After I pleaded with him to stay still and have his picture taken he became quiet amenable … I think he is smiling at me here! kaka1


KAKAPOkakapo 2

The Kakapo is large, clumsy and a bit of a clown, another nocturnal and flightless bird.  Here the highly respected bird man Benedict Cumberbatch talks about the kakapo as a misfit!

This awesome bird has always been a bit of a favorite of mine ever since I saw a documentary on them and found out that the males mating call is a boom!  Yes… A BOOM!  They puff themselves up and boom away for ages… waiting for a female to respond.  

Sadly there are not many of these beauties left but there is a concerted effort in the preservation of this bird which is having some success.

kakapo 3

TAKAHE -and his mate.TAKAHE

The Takahe is a rather large and portly flightless bird.  They have midnight blue feathers with bright red beak and legs.  takakhe 2

Takahes are another endangered bird so seeing these two get together and canoodle was quite the treat! takake greet 26-02-2015 12-02-02 p.m.takake greet2canoodle

The sanctuary where these delights were seen, is a low key affair, it is a gold coin donation on entry and you can wander around the grounds taking in the beautiful scenery and checking out at the local residents for as long as you like.  Worth a trip!

All the shots were taken through wire fencing which interfered with the quality but the subject is just too special not to share.

Thanks for coming by to see…. 😉



28 thoughts on “Kiwi birds… but not the Kiwi.

  1. My brother has a house on Kapiti Island – and in summer, the takahe (one of the rarest birds in the world) walk in the open front door, poop in his corridor, and wander out the back door. (The northern section of the island – where his house is – is not part of the sanctuary).

    Liked by 2 people

  2. All these flightless birds. They must have had no predators. That parrot looks like it WANTS to fly, but did you get a look at its whopping great feet? Nonetheless, they all have great charm. Thanks for letting us see them from afar!


  3. Such an interesting post! I didn’t know about these birds but they’re all cool in their own ways. It makes me curious about their evolution–why would natural selection select for flightlessness in birds, I wonder?


    • It is a wonder. Maori legend has it that the Kiwi volunteered to give up his wings to live on the forest floor to eat the insects which were destroying the forests. Maybe the evolution of these birds is similar in reason?


  4. Very well photographed in the circumstances, Danella. I am currently reading Richard Fortey’s The Earth, in which he describes how, rats having come into Hawaii, mongooses were brought in from India to eradicate them. They killed all the flightless birds, and the rats survive.


    • Thanks Derrick, It’s all part of the learning, taking the best possible picture in the least desirable circumstances. 🙂
      I’m sure the introduced vermin have played their part in the diminishing bird life here. I hope the efforts being put into the conservation of these birds becomes a success!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. The boom used to be my mating call, too, and it worked very well. But ever since getting married I’m not allowed to use it anymore. 😉


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