The kākā has some special features - a brush-like tongue for collecting nectar and a strong beak which they use like a third leg for climbing trees. Their robust beaks can open the tough cone of the kauri and dig out grubs from logs. Flocks of kākā gather on Rangitoto Island in early summer to feed on pōhutukawa blossoms.

Auckland Zoo maintains and coordinates the captive breeding programme for kākā. Offspring bred here are often reintroduced to the wild. You'll find our kākā living in The Forest habitat in Te Wao Nui.

Similar to its cousin the kea in size and behaviour, kākā has distinctive dark reddish plumage. The boisterous kākā was once abundant in forests throughout New Zealand.


Five kākā chicks hatch

Five kākā chicks hatched at the Zoo at the end of last year and they've just had their first vet check - watch as bird keeper Natalie puts them back in their nest box and tells us why these birds are so special!


Keeper Chat - New Zealand's kākā and tīeke!

Bird keeper Ashleigh tell us about the kākā and tīeke in Auckland Zoo aviary The Forest