Kakapo – Night Parrot

The Kakapo is an anachronism in a modern world.  Large solitary and flightless, it’s a New Zealand parrot, but with a difference – a bird that sleeps by day and walks the forest floor by night.  Being nocturnal the Kakapo has, until now been a bird with many secrets.

Because of the difficulties in compiling a documentary on a species that comes out only after dark, most of the behavioural sequences that make this film unique – had to be filmed with the aid of special night-vision equipment.

Produced by NHNZ

When New Zealand drifted off from Gondwanaland millions of years ago an isolated and unique flora and fauna developed.  New Zealand became a perfect place for flightless birds – there was no mammalian competition and birds were able to fill ecological niches not available on other landmasses.

One of the oddest of these flightless birds is the Kakapo – a giant ground living parrot.  Nocturnal and corpulent, it has a sad history – responding to a predator-free environment it took to the ground and was once numerous.  But when man and other mammals arrived its numbers declined very rapidly.  It is unable to defend itself against predators such as rats, cats or stoats, and its habitat is being lost or subtly changed.  It has become a very rare and seriously endangered species.

Episodes From This Series

Wanted Alive

26 minutes / 1992

Colony Z

24 minutes / 1986

The Black Stilt – A Bird Surrounded by Change

48 minutes / 1984

Black Robin – The Chatham Island Story

48 minutes / 1990

Lost World of the Poor Knights

48 minutes / 1992

Castles of the Underworld

46 minutes / 1992

Wild Horse, Wild Country

51 minutes / 1995

City Under the Sea

47 minutes / 1992

Bandits of the Beech Forest

52 minutes / 1996

Battle for Breaksea

26 minutes / 1989

Snares Gift from the Sea

24 minutes / 1984

Up With the Birds

24 minutes / 1982

Same Time Same Place

24 monutes / 1982

Swan Lake

24 minutes / 1985

Kakapo – Night Parrot

24 minutes / 1982

Sea lion summer

24 minutes / 1982

Possum a New Zealand Nightmare

26 minutes / 1990

Sanctuary

23 minutes / 1990

Pukeko

26 minutes / 1989

Invaders in Paradise

51 minutes / 1999

The Mangroves

24 minutes / 1984

Islands of strange noises

30 minutes / 1980

Island Eaten by Rats

24 minutes / 1984

Tale of the Crayfish

48 minutes / 1987

Land of the Kiwi

48 minutes / 1987

Gull City

23 minutes / 1990

Bandits of the Beach Forest

1 hour / 1996