As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Friday, 3 April 2015

Bird-spotters using technology to find Kokako

Friday 3 Apr 2015 6:33 p.m.

Bird-spotters hoping to prove the elusive South Island Kokako is not extinct believe modern technology could be the key to solving a 40-year mystery.

The species was thought to be extinct, but after reported sightings near Reefton it was reclassified as 'data deficient'.

The call of the South Island Kokako is something Rhys Buckingham hopes to one day hear for himself and despite hunting for 40 years, he's not ready to give up just yet.

"We've prepared a strategic plan and what we think now, to make any headway, we've got to use state-of-the-art hi-tech technology to try and get our bird," he says.

Mr Buckingham is wasting no time, setting up near Nelson where pest trapper Don Sullivan believes he spotted a South Island Kokako.

"I saw this bird and I said 'oh' and I looked at it and it was in a nest and it didn't do anything and it just stayed there and then I said 'oh, what a lovely little bird.'"

But identifying the bird isn't easy. In the past, feathers thought to be those of the Kokako have been DNA profiled but have either been lost or identified as coming from another species.

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