New Zealand parrots
There are almost 350 plus species of parrots in the world but New Zealand is considered the hub and home to many species of parrots. Most of the parrot trade is done by New Zealand parrots. Therefore it is necessary to understand the New Zealand parrots.
There are several species of parrots found in New Zealand and these are:
- Antipodes Island parakeet
- Crimson Rosella
- Eastern Rosella
- Kaka/ Nestor parrots
- Kakariki/ parakeets of New Zealand parrots
- Yellow Crowned parakeet
- Red-crowned parakeet
Kea New Zealand parrots
Kea is not one of the common parrots that we see, it’s very different and interesting. It is one of those true parrots that survive in alpines. They are known for their intelligent personalities. They are mysterious parrots who will get interested in every human who will enter its mountain territory.
About kea parrot:
Kea parrots are large, mostly resembling hawks while flying. They are strong birds with firm bodies and a relatively large black beak. They are easily identified by their dusky green olive colour. They also have some Scarlet splashes under their wings. They are also one of those parrots that are dimorphic sexually. Females can be easily differentiated from the males. They are smaller than males and have shorter beaks. Baby keas have yellow on their eyelids but the colour fades to grey as they grow up.
They are easily recognized by their unique calls. If you break down the call they will be similar to their names: “Keeeeeeee”. Juveniles are immature and their calls are louder and they are much similar to screaming.
They are habitual to many mountain ranges like Southern Island, from watitu to farewell spit. They are also found in Kaikoura mountain ranges. However, they are most common in mountain or sub-mountain habitats.
Threats to kea parrots:
To kill or hunt kea parrots due to their practice of injuring sheeps were abandoned in 1971. However, they were fully conserved in 1986.
Other threats include their mammal predators, environmental pollution, misadventures, and accidents that happen, with the people or things that try to interfere within their environment.
Famines and plagues in mountain ranges are also one of the threats to these species. Sometimes keas get trapped in humane traps or baits which were being designed for other animals.
kea Breeding behaviors:
Keas unlike other parrots that live in mountains, do not build their nests on heights instead they build on cavities that are present on the ground or in trees. Cavities like logs, a messy place under the river, under the roots of an old tree, etc. Their breeding season usually lasts about July-January. They do not lay a bunch of eggs just 4 eggs in the whole breeding season. The female kea builds the nest, takes care of the eggs, and feeds them. The male hunts for the food and bring it to the nest. Females may breed more than once in a year but that’s something really rare.
The overall behavior of kea parrots:
Kea parrots are quiet lovers and they make string long-lasting bonds with their mates, making them monogamous. Baby keas usually live in flocks whereas adult keas may join a flock whenever they want to breed. Within a flock there are various social connections, therefore keas are most intelligent as compared to most of the parrots. Kea’s juvenile period is extended to the adult period.
Adaptability is a metaphor for kea parrots. Why? Because their adaptability has enabled them to live in harsh environments. They have developed several adaptations, like eating dead animals for surviving, etc. In addition to this, they also dig for huhu grubs in areas with excess pines.
Some of the main features both physiological and behavioral of kea parrots which make them stand out than other parrots are:
- Slender beaks
- Food digging
- Making nests on grounds
- Breeding in cold temperatures
- Social hierarchies
- Intelligent nature
- Living in alpine areas
- Extended juvenile periods.
Keas eat a wide variety of foods including both plant and animal content. They dig and forage for the food, fruits, leaves, seeds, nectar is the main green stuff which they eat. They dig for food like eggs or larva of different worms and insects. Some keas also hunt for the babies of Hutton’s shearwater. They also eat dead deers, sheep, chamois, etc. Some keys just sit on a sheep’s back and start digging their skin-piercing the muscles to get the fat present around the kidneys. That’s why they were not liked by farmers and they were also hunted due to this strange behavior.
New Zealand parakeet
In Maori, New Zealand parrots Parakeets are known as “Kakariki” meaning “beautiful green birds”.
There are five most common species of Parakeets and they are:
- Yellow crowned Parakeet
- Orange-fronted parakeet
- Red-crowned parakeet
- Forbes parakeet
- Parakeets of Antipodes Island.
Parakeets are generally and majorly green in colour but they are identified by the beautiful transitions of colours present on their heads.
- Yellow splashes are present on Yellow-crowned parakeets and also on their beaks, they possess a red patch.
- The orange band is present above the beak in Orange-fronted parakeets. They also have a pale yellow patch referred to as their crown.
- Crimson red on forehead, and a longer streaking passing through the eyes yes they are Red-crowned parakeets.
- Forbes parakeets have too much resemblance with the yellow-crowned parakeets but they are not found easily. They are only present in the islands of Mangere and Chatham.
- The Antipodes species of the parakeets have a total green look.
The largest among these parakeets are the Antipodes parakeets then comes the Red-crowned parakeets and then the Yellow-crowned and so on.
Priorly it was thought that Orange-crowned parakeets were just a colour mutation of the yellow-crowned parakeets but now they are recognized as a different species.
Where can you find them?
Yellow-crowned parakeets are rare species but with efforts, they can be found in North, South Forested areas of Stewart Islands. They are present in Auckland Islands. These parakeets prefer large trees to live in and scrubs.
Red-crowned parakeets can be easily found on the mainland in the previous century but now they have become a rare species of parakeets. They are found on such islands where you find less mammals. Red-crowned parakeets love to live in open places rather than to live in tangled vines. As compared to yellow-crowned parakeets you can find them on lower heights. The Antipodes parakeets are only found on Antipodes Islands.
Interesting facts about New Zealand parakeets:
- Red-crowned and yellow-crowned parakeets are the only species that can be tamed and can be kept as pets.
- You cannot just randomly breed any parakeets, for the breeders who want to multiply their parakeets must have a permit from The Conservation Department.
- Parakeets feed on seeds, nuts, fruits and flowers.
- You will not see parakeets on grounds.
- Parakeets love to live in holes of trees.
- The breeding season of parakeets lasts from October to December. However, they can also breed in winters if they have plenty of food.
- The female lays almost five to nine eggs that hatch after twenty days.
- Both male and female parakeets take part in the nurturing of their young ones.
Ground living parrot of New Zealand
Kakapo is called the ground living parrot of, New Zealand parrots. It is also known as “Owl parrot”. Why? Because unlike other parrots it is called nocturnal. These parrots do not actually fit the definition of parrots but still are parrots.
Kakapo parrots cannot fly, they live on the ground, and are larger parrots mostly resembling owls. Their feathers are green and yellow, like owls they also possess a facial disc,their wings are relatively small for flying therefore they cannot fly, have large feet with small kegs, and a large grey bill.
It’s the only species of parrots that cannot fly. They are herbivores and are sexually dimorphic. Kakapo parrots are the heaviest among parrots.
Green flightless New Zealand parrot
Kakapo is the green flightless New Zealand parrots. They live on grounds and cannot fly. Kakapo parrots are one of the most strange species of parrots. They look more like an owl than a parrot. Males and females can be independently recognized making them sexually dimorphic.
New Zealand parrot crossword clue
These are the clues for the New Zealand parrots crossword clues:
New Zealand parrot flightless
Kakapo is a large, not able to fly, and a nocturnal bird found in New Zealand parrots. This parrot is one of those species of parrots that are highly endangered. Surprisingly there are no parrots that are closely related to Kakapos.
Kakapos are large birds mostly dwelling, thick forests. They have a face much similar to an owl. Kakapos are beautifully green colored with the transitions of yellow and black. Their beak is also grey along with their feet and legs.
Kakapo’s calls are loud and are similar to a “ching” or a “boom”. Both males and females have high pitched voices.
Some people also confuse kea parrots with kakapos. But they can be easily differentiated because they can’t fly, are green in colour and are similar to an owl. Also, kakapos can only be seen at particular sites so there is no need to confuse them.
Initially, they were found in the whole New Zealand parrots but due to increasing numbers of predators their numbers have been drastically decreased and they were completely gone from the North Islands, in 1930. On Stewards Island, a small population of kakapos was found in 1977. Due to their decreasing numbers, their populations have been transferred to safer places like Codfish island, etc. Today kakapos can only be found in islands with forests, however, in recent years, they were habitual to many different kinds of environments.
Kakapo is a parrot that lives alone and they can live in the same place for a very long time. They usually build their nests on the ground and can climb but cannot fly. Their diet mainly includes green content like leaves, flowers, barks, roots, bulbs, fruits, veggies etc.
New Zealand parrot types
There are several types of parrots found in New Zealand parrots and most of them include, parakeets, budgergries, love birds, kakapo, keas, and macaws, etc.