Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

New Zealand: Kākā

with 17 comments

Kaka Bush Parrot 6460

Taking a one-day pause in the sequence of geological and climatological photographs that predominated at the end of the New Zealand trip, let’s back up a few days for one more picture from my February 21st visit to Wellington’s Zealandia. There I managed to get several portraits of the native parrot Nestor meridionalis, which I assume got its Māori name of kākā from the sound the bird makes, much as English transliterates the repeated call of a crow as caw caw.

There are two subspecies of kākā, and this appears to be the northern one. You’re welcome to read more about the kākā, whether a current overview or a historical account.

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 16, 2015 at 3:42 AM

17 Responses

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  1. Cool. Candid and with a lot of personality.

    Steve Gingold

    July 16, 2015 at 5:57 AM

    • Here’s an opening for me to ask once again whether you’re referring to the photographer.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 16, 2015 at 7:20 AM

      • Pop yourself in there and I’ll tell you.

        Steve Gingold

        July 16, 2015 at 9:52 AM

        • I’m afraid the parrot would start pecking at me, so I think I’d best stay out of its portrait.

          Steve Schwartzman

          July 16, 2015 at 5:14 PM

          • Interesting that I see HeyJude liked my comment but I see no like button in the comment section.

            Steve Gingold

            July 16, 2015 at 7:36 PM

            • When I click on a comment notification in my Notifications menu, the item expands and there’s a choice to do several things with the comment: like it, approve it, trash it, or spam it. That’s how I can like a comment, but it’s not clear to me how a third party can like someone else’s comment on my blog. You could leave a comment on her blog and ask her how she went about liking your comment.

              Steve Schwartzman

              July 16, 2015 at 7:56 PM

  2. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a brown parrot. I think of them as a brilliant green, or brightly colored. On the other hand, there’s nothing drab about this creature. The bits of subtle color in his feathers, and their intricate patterning, are great. Not only that, he has quite the expression of alert appraisal. Is it possible I see the reflection of the one he’s appraising?

    (You do know that, when crows gather to transact community business, it’s called a cawcus.)


    July 16, 2015 at 6:59 AM

    • New Zealand also has the world’s only alpine parrot, but unfortunately I never got a picture of one of those.

      What the kākā lacks in large areas of bright colors, it makes up for with the subtle feather patterns and smaller bits of color you mentioned. I think you’re right that the eye of this one does sport a reflection, even if it’s only a stick-like figure without detail because I was a couple of meters away.

      I’m cynical enough to think that a bunch of cawing crows might make better decisions than many human groups.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 16, 2015 at 7:31 AM

  3. Such a beautiful bird. I really love this shot Steve!

    Michael Glover

    July 16, 2015 at 4:38 PM

  4. Great shot. I have seen the kea – they are very destructive and will destroy cars by eating the rubber. Unfortunately this has also decimated the kea population. Their diet has been their downfall

    Raewyn's Photos

    July 16, 2015 at 4:47 PM

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