Nestor meridionalis
Bird Songs
South Island kākā flock calls.


New Zealand status: Endemic

Conservation status: Nationally Vulnerable (South Island)

Kākā are large, forest-dwelling parrots that are being more regularly spotted visiting Dunedin City from Orokonui Ecosanctuary.

A large, olive-brown parrot with grey-white crown, red-orange underwing and deep crimson belly and under-tail feathers. Their call is a harsh, repeated, rhythmic “ka-aa” when flying above the forest canopy and harsh grating “kraak” alarm call when disturbed. Also a variety of loud, musical whistles, but these vary markedly from place to place. 

In flight, a falcon/karearea or swamp harrier/kahu could be mistaken for a kākā - look for the distinctive crimson belly feathers and red-orange underwings of the kākā.

Find out more about kākā

Adult South Island kākā. Credit: Oscar Thomas.