Kakapo Behaviour

Since it’s such a unique parrot, it goes without saying that, the kakapo doesn’t act like any other! Learn about how it behaves.


Alone in the night

The kakapo is best described as a midnight rambler, spending most of its life sleeping during the day and wandering alone through the forest at night.

Kakapo are solitary creatures. They gather only to breed, and the females are left to raise their chicks alone. Typically, each bird keeps to itself during the day, tucked up in a roost on the ground or in a tree, and venturing out at night to feed.


The kakapo ‘skraark’

Kakapo do give themselves away by their calls, however. This includes, most commonly, a loud screeching or “skraark”.

Listen to the kakapo skraark


Keeping still

Another peculiar habit of the kakapo is to freeze when disturbed, keeping absolutely still and hoping to blend into the background. Most animals have evolved more useful forms of defence, such as taking flight; but the kakapo obviously did not need this behaviour in the days when New Zealand’s only predators were avian, such as Haast’s eagle (Harpagornis moorei).


Kakapo personality

But when it comes to behaviour, not all kakapo are the same. Staff get to know some birds well, such as the young chicks raised in captivity, and find that each has its own personality. Some are friendly, others are grumpy, several are big eaters.


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