Strange Parrot Indeed

If there’s one parrot that absolutely fascinates me, it’s one I’ll probably never get to meet ?the kakapo. Not only is the kakapo the world’s heaviest parrot ?weighing up to 8 pounds! ?the only non-flighted parrot and the only nocturnal parrot (although some bird owners might respectively argue that their parrot is indeed nocturnal), it is also the one of the most endangered birds in the world.

I’m still scratching my head as to how the kakapo is classified as a parrot. Its beak might be hooked but it reminds me of an owl’s beak more than a parrot’s. And from the video footage I’ve seen, the kakapo looks at things dead on instead of a parrot’s one-eye stare. Another thing that sets them apart is that they don’t flock together; instead living alone.

In case you’re unfamiliar with this unique New Zealand parrot, one thing that will endear you to it is the way the male woos the female. During summer nights, the male leaves his roost, treks up a hill top (up to four miles away!) and lets out a loud “boom” call to attract a female. If there is no taker, he makes the long, lonely trip home and tries again the next night.

I’ve always thought the kakapo was a painfully shy parrot, but apparently it knows when to seize the moment when the opportunity presents itself. Check out this video (thanks for the forward Chris Davis, BIRD TALK’s “Heart To Heart” columnist.) Keep in mind that this bird weighs in at 8 pounds, ouch!


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