Feathered Friday

Very seldom today does a sense of marvellous wonder overcome me as it did the other evening when I learned about the flightless birds of New Zealand. I was aware of the Kiwi, but I invite you to meet the Kakapo:

This marvellous creature's only natural enemy was a large predatory hawk; it's means of defence to be silent and still. As you can imagine this defense is ineffective against the introduced species of cats and other predatory four legged mammals such as rats who'll eat their eggs.

Kakapos exist today on the brink of extinction on a few islands that are cat and rat free. People are carefully monitoring and supporting the survival of this bird; against all odds.

"The kakapo is a bird full of surprises.

It's a parrot that looks like an owl, but which cannot fly. It can hop like a sparrow and growl like a dog. And it has a smell unlike anything else in the world - except perhaps the smell of flowers or honey!"

Kakapo Recovery Project

What a mysterious planet we live on.

So many wondrous places and creatures to learn about every day.

Let's make certain to learn more about the magic and wonder around us before we use it all up.
That'll be sometime next week by the way.
The time is now - there's none to waste!


michael the tubthumper said...

i happen to know a bit about it because of the book 'last chance to see' by douglas adams and mark carwardine. there is a whole chapter on them in there.

there is, i believe, one kakapo tracking dog in existence.

Amelopsis said...

I am quite keen on animal issues generally so I was suprised to find out since I'd never heard of them before! It was an Attenborough nature show and was fantastic.
Nature and the resilience of species as vulnerable as these are truly awe inspiring to me.

Thanks for stopping by Michael.

michael the tubthumper said...

i like it here. you should look out that book, its fantastic

Amelopsis said...

I think I'll do just that!

michael the tubthumper said...


now that i think about there is a fantastic lecture from the grave about the kakapo (in part) as well. here is the link. its down the bottom of the page and called 'parrots lfe and the universe'. it should load up right away in real player


i am finding this weird that i have seen so much about this random animal!

Jeff Msangi said...

Although I come from Africa where the richness of wildlife is unexplainable I had never heard of the kakapo.May be its because I have always tried to cut the science lectures!I must thank you for introducing me to kakapo.Do you think they are available in Africa?Around Lake Manyara?

Amelopsis said...

Jeff I these feathered fellows are entirely unique to New Zealand. Have you had a chance to look through to the site I linked? It's got loads of information and it's quite fascinating.

mew said...

Scots Michael has beaten me to it, the scunner, but I second the motion to read Last Chance To See. Got it in my christmas stocking when I was 8 and its been one of my favourite books since. The chapters on the Kakapo and Mountain Gorilla in particular have some of the most heartrending insights into animal and man I've read.

Amelopsis said...

Mew I wonder how many species mentioned are already now extinct from the time you received the book?

Oh - thanks for stopping by :)