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kakariki - red-crowned parakeet - Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae novaezelandiae | by Steve Attwood
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kakariki - red-crowned parakeet - Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae novaezelandiae

Photographed at Zealandia.

A long tailed bright green parrot with a red crown, forehead and band of red which extends from the bill through the eye and beyond, crimson rump patches and violet blue on wing coverts and some outer flight feathers.

Kakariki have a rapid, direct flight, usually above the canopy and often accompanied by a rapid loud chatter: "ki-ki-ki-ki-ki". When feeding they are either silent or babble.

Kakariki are very rare in the North Island, although this wasn't always the case. They were common in the 1880's but with the introduction of feral cats, stoats, and ship rats they became rare. They are even more rare in the South Island, but are widespread on Stewart Island and many predator-free island reserves.

Kakariki eat a wide variety of plant seeds (particularly flax), fruit, berries, buds, shoots and flowers, as well as nectar and small invertebrates. They often feed on the ground rather than in the canopy, making them susceptible to mammalian predators.

Red-crowned parakeets make their nests in holes in branches and trunks, ground burrows or densely matted vegetation

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Taken on December 11, 2011