Saturday, January 24, 2009

Kakapo Parrots: Awaiting Mating

The Otago Daily Times has an EXCELLENT article, along with four nice photographs, on the the Kakapo mating cycle, and Rod Morris' quest to record their elaborate mating ritual for posterity.
The pursuit of love is not easy for a male kakapo, though they are one of most highly sexed birds in the world, according to veteran New Zealand wildlife photographer and writer Rod Morris.

In the early 1970s, Morris accompanied Don Merton, of the former New Zealand Wildlife Service, on an expedition to find kakapo in Fiordland.

Merton took the first black-and-white photographs, while Morris took the first colour stills of the world's heaviest, only nocturnal and flightless parrot making its unique booming mating call.
The article concludes with mixed news about the early egg production of this year's season.
As the ODT went to press the rimu trees were flowering but it was too early to say whether they were going to have a bumper crop of fruit. Four females have mated successfully, and one bird, Lisa, has laid three eggs, though one was infertile and one embryo died. DOC workers are optimistic about the third egg.

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