North Island Kokako (Callaeas wilsoni, Callaeidae: New Zealand Wattlebirds) North Island, New Zealand
The North Island Kokako is a rare bird endemic to scattered forest locations in central and northern North Island of New Zealand. Birds have also been successfully relocated to several off-shore islands made free of mammalian predators. A poor flier, it often climbs trees then glides down. Its Maori name - 'Kokako' which means glider or 'descending flier' describes this behaviour well. Famous for its far carrying call, however in tall forest it is a very difficult bird to get a clear view of even if you can locate a bird. The bird here was filmed on the predator free island of Tiritiri Matangi near Auckland where they live in regenerating coastal forest that is not too high. This allowed a closer view which made it practically possible to film this unique bird, seen here busily feeding on leaves. Even this view is pretty special and I was lucky.