Thursday, June 01, 2006

Endangered sounds of New Zealand


The kokako is the most endangered of New Zealand's two remaining endemic wattlebirds. Wattles are brightly coloured fleshy appendages on the throat or cheeks. Part of the reason Kokakos are so intriguing is their loud, melodious song which is said to be one of purest tones in nature. Each pair sing their own distinctive duet for half an hour at dawn.
Click here to listen to a recording of the Kokako


The kiwi is the closest thing to a mammal in the bird world. The kiwi's blood temperature is nearly the same as a mammal, about 2 degrees centigrade lower than other birds. And it has bone marrow, instead of air as in the bones of a bird.

Kiwis have large ear openings, long whiskers, and plumage more like hair than feathers - all physical characteristics of most mammals.

With strong stout legs and claws that are 30 percent of its' body weight, the kiwi is a powerful runner, fighter and swimmer.

The kiwi also has a keen sense of smell. It's the only bird with nostrils located at the end of its beak. Kiwis forage for insects at night by plunging their beaks into the earth and sniffing them out.

This is an excellent description of Kiwis, well worth a quick read. These funny looking birds grow dearer to us every day.

Click on the image above to get a better picture.

Click to hear a kiwi


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