Kakapo Pictures

 
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Kakapo Pictures Showing the World's Rarest Parrot from New Zealand

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The Kakapo, Strigops habroptilus, is the world's rarest and strangest parrot. It the only flightless and nocturnal parrot, the name kakapo means night in Maori, as well as being the heaviest in the world, weighing up to 8 pounds. Kakapo live in New Zealand, which for many years was inhabited by birds and reptiles which had no predatory mammals. The Kakapo did not learn the defense mechanisms to combat or escape mammalian predators. This made the parrot very vulnerable when new animals started showing up. The arrival of Polynesian peoples thousands of years ago, of Europeans in the 1800's, and ultimately the pets and livestock they brought with them resulted in the massive decline of Kakapo populations from hundreds of thousands to a mere handful of birds. There are now less than 100 Kakapo left which have been relocated to six predator free island habitats, where the birds are relatively safe and have been breeding. The upper parts of the Kakapo have yellowish moss-green feathers barred or mottled with black or dark brownish grey, blending well with native vegetation. Because the feathers do not need to be strong for flight they are unusually soft. Kakapo have a facial disc of fine feathers, resembling the face of an owl, and early European settlers called it the "owl parrot". Their beaks are surrounded by delicate vibrissa, which they use to sense the ground as they walk with their heads lowered.

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picture of a kakapo      

Picture of a kakapo, Strigops habroptilus, highly endangered less then 100 birds left, New Zealand

Picture #: 069213

     

 

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