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, 23 October 2017

Museums Worcestershire: How flightless parrot reached Worcester

15th October

Sometimes referred to as an Owl Parrot due to its moon-like face, the bird is nocturnal and entirely vegetarian, feeding mainly on flowers, roots and leaves.

While our specimen is slightly faded in colour, the Kakapo is usually a bright mossy green with dappled yellow and black.

This camouflage allows the Kakapo some protection against birds who hunt above the forest using sight, but is of little use against mammals who hunt using smell. Before the arrival of humans the Kakapo was common throughout New Zealand’s forests, but became vulnerable to attack from introduced species such as rats and cats. The bird is now heavily monitored and managed on predator-free islands.

This specimen is believed to have travelled to the museum in the latter half of the 19th century, although its precise history is uncertain. Worcester had become a lively centre for natural history research and learning by this period, with the founding of the Worcestershire Natural History Society and other dedicated groups creating and promoting their own collections.

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