T’is the season for love – kokako translocation update.

Spring has sprung, the grass is riz, I wonder where the birdies iz.


It’s kokako breeding season again and we have high hopes after our translocation of 3 new pairs in August.

Read about the translocation here, here and here.

So far we have had mixed results. Tragically Onaia died shortly after his release. A post mortem examination wasn’t able to find any definitive reason for his death. He wasn’t found until a week after his release and decomposition was quite advanced, but it was likely due to a combination of stress, bad weather and possibly advanced age. We are gutted.


So how do you find one dead bird in hundreds of acres of native bush? All of the translocated birds are fitted with transmitters and a moving signal is a key indicator of life. When Greg, our bird ‘monitorer’ checked on his charges for the second time, he found that Onaia hadn’t moved and was able to zero in on his signal. After a bit of hunting around he found the poor wee bird about 50 meters from the release site.

With the loss of Onaia, this leaves Eco partnerless. We have a single male nearby, hopefully they will find each other.

Of the 2 remaining pairs, Kara and Ponga dispersed, have since reunited and are hopefully looking for a territory to call their own.

Kokako 2


Kaha has gone a – wandering. His signal moved further and further away from the release site until about 3 weeks ago, we couldn’t find it at all. A search party went out last week and picked up his beep at the far North Eastern end of our conservation area. It’s not uncommon for males to check out the boundaries before settling down, so we hope he comes back this way soon. Roa is unaccompanied and he may lose her to one of our resident males.

It’s still early days but there is a lot of territorial song happening. Fingers crossed, there’s also some canoodling.

The Department of Conservation has kokako song on their website.

First photograph is the property of the author. All other photographs remain the property of the Manawahe Kokako Trust.



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