Flossie

Flossie is best-known as the bird that Richard Henry took a shine to in 1998, producing three chicks that will perpetuate his Fiordland genes in a population otherwise dominated by Stewart Island birds.

That breeding event was a huge relief for kākāpō staff – not only was it the first time Richard Henry successfully mated, but it was also the only time that kākāpō bred on Maud Island.

In fact, the breeding event was even more unusual because Flossie chose to nest on the steep slope of a pine plantation, and fed her chicks extensively on pine needles.

Up until that point, staff thought kākāpō would always prefer New Zealand’s mixed native vegetation, and not the monoculture offered by a commercial forestry species.

Flossie’s nest was a reminder of the kākāpō’s ability to surprise their human minders in new and unexpected ways.

She was later moved to Codfish Island (Whenua Hou) in 2001, where she took part in the 2002 breeding season, producing another two chicks – Rakiura and Esperance – this time to Bill, and in 2005 mated with Ox and Bill who each fathered a chick – Yasmine and Pura. With seven living chicks, Flossie has been the most productive female to date. She is also consistent and has laid three fertile eggs at each breeding event.

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