Keep our kākā safe
An increasing number of kākā in Wellington are turning up with metabolic bone disease. This disease can be fatal for kākā chicks as metabolic bone disease prevents their bones from developing properly. This disease is most likely caused by well-meaning people feeding nuts to adult kākā. When the public feed adult kākā an imbalanced diet, that food is regurgitated to feed chicks.
For healthy kākā chicks in Wellington, their parents need to eat a natural diet. We recommend planting kākā friendly plants, such as kowhai, five-finger and tree fuchsia, if you want to attract them to your garden.
For more information about feeding birds visit: Feeding birds at home (PDF) - Zealandia
This project was one of the actions identified in Wellington's Our Natural Capital – Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan
Kākā Cam - Spring 2015
Throughout the spring of 2015, Wellingtonians joined people from all over the world to watch a new generation of kākā hatching and fledging from a nest box in one of the city’s urban bush reserves.
The media picked up on the project and the birds soon became famous, with appearances on TVNZ Breakfast, One News and Seven Sharp. The live stream was viewed nearly 65,000 times, and watched for a total of 1,382,468 minutes – which is over 2 and a half years! This is an average of about 21 minutes per view.
The project helped educate people about our native birds and showed some of the challenges they face in order to survive in our urban environment. Young kākā are very vulnerable as they cannot fly for a while after fledgling. So this family taught Wellingtonians the importance of trapping pests in our parks and reserves, as well as in their own back yards. It also encouraged people to be responsible pet owners as the young birds are easy targets for wandering cats and off-leash dogs.
One of the chicks had to be euthanised as a result of a beak deformity caused by metabolic bone disease, but that chick has helped us to learn more about this disease and educate people about it.
Thanks to the Morgan Foundation’s Enhancing the Halo Project for their support.