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.

Monday 20 November 2017

Restoration of iconic native bird causes problems in urban areas

After a century-long absence, kaka were successfully reintroduced in Wellington in 2002 - but the restoration of the iconic native bird has ruffled a few feathers.

Kaka are a delight, says Victoria ecologist Associate Professor Wayne Linklater. "They're wonderful birds to watch and listen to, and you watch kids' faces light up around them." But, just like their cousins the kea, kaka are boisterous, brainy and also potentially problematic in urban areas.

An emerging challenge in Wellington's suburbs is kaka damaging property - gouging into trees, roofs and buildings.

"Kaka are cavity nesters and, like most birds, attract in numbers where there is food," explains Wayne. "They're quite happy living in cities, where there are human-made cavities and food everywhere."

This has led to neighbours arguing about whether people should be feeding kaka, says Wayne. "Wellingtonians love feeding birds and connecting with wildlife - somewhere between 25 and 40 percent of residents at least occasionally feed birds in their backyard. It extends from throwing out some scrap food to placing large quantities in bird feeders.

"It could be that for many kaka their primary food source is people's backyards, and this is driving them to gather in particularly large numbers in some neighbourhoods."


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