Keen-eyed types might have noticed some unusual birds of a feather around the village of late. Gordonton dairy farmer John Riddell snapped these shots of one of our native parrots, the kaka or bush parrot.
Over the last few days as many as five have been seen on three locations on the property, mainly visiting kowhai trees. A Peach Road resident has also reported seeing the birds to N8N.
“They’re very tame. I sneaked up to get some photos – I took about 400 – and they were quite happy for me to be near.”
Two birds appeared about a week ago, hanging out in an old kowhai tree with a tui as company. “I saw them flying across the farm, from one kowhai tree to more planted along the driveway to the old house.”
The birds, considered nationally vulnerable, have returned most mornings before flying elsewhere. On Monday five were seen. “They love the kowhai flowers – just gobble into them.”
John says the last time he saw kaka on the farm was 30 years ago. “I was duck shooting and these birds flew over, I raised my gun… and nooooooo. They’re very distinctive.”
Kaka have been seen at Woodlands Historic Homestead, mainly during the Winter when food is scarce. They are also seen at Pukemokemoke Reserve.