Thursday, 9 June 2011
A Parrot in the Persimmon tree.
Mums neighbour Bill was kind enough to email me the other day to tell me a Kaka had been regularly visiting their garden recently. I was given the all-clear to head over there with my camera if ever I heard him. I kept my ears open and sure enough, a few days later I heard the screeches and chortles of a native parrot. I found him in a tall tree in the front yard. Too far away for decent photos. He was feeding on grubs and beetles in a dead tree. Kaka enjoy a varied diet and this one was getting his protein by ripping the dead wood open with his strong beak to enjoy the insects within. I heard from other people in the neighbourhood that he had been in their macadamia tree cracking open the nuts. You'd have to have an extremely strong beak to get those things open!
Finally he flew to the persimmon tree in Bills back yard where I was able to get quite close to him and get some good shots. Kaka move like monkeys in the trees. This guy was grabbing the branches with his beak to climb up and down in his quest for ripe fruit. When he found a persimmon to his taste he would rip pieces out with his beak and hold the chunk of fruit in his foot like a kid holding an ice cream and the juice ran out around his toes. I could get quite close - about fifteen feet, plenty close enough to see the cheeky glint in his eye!
Sadly this is a species in decline. Kaka are quite threatened now due to habitat loss and scarce food supplies. What a shame - they have so much character!