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New Zealand actually has a small number of endemic parrot species. These include the kakapo (a species that has received a lot of attention and investment into its protection), the kea (a mountain parrot that delights tourists in the Southern Alps) and the kaka. There are two subspecies of the kaka; one in the North Island and one in the South Island. The kaka is more drab than many other parrot species. This is a result of evolution in an environment where predators were all avian.

The kaka has also been in decline. This is largely due to the competition and predation by introduced pests. Where pest control is effective, kaka populations do much better.

At Puhaka (Mount Bruce) 12 kaka were released into the reserve a few years ago. Numbers have increased quickly and the bird is now a relatively common site in the area. The birds are still wild, but largely habituated to the presence of people. This certainly helped me get some photos.

This shot is of a kaka feeding on flax flowers. If you look closely you should be able to see its tongue inside the beak.

Link to larger image