Mounted South Island Kokako Specimen; Callaeas cinerea cinerea; 2005/214.03
Mounted South Island Kokako SpecimenTaxonomic Classification
Callaeas cinerea cinereaAbout this object
Despite dating to the late nineteenth century, this taxidermy specimen of a South Island kokako is in excellent condition. It was extracted for display from a large collection of native New Zealand and Australian birds perched amongst a tangle of branches in a glass-fronted wooden cabinet.
The specimen is mounted in a perched position. It has distinctive russet-coloured wattles with blue patches near the base. These hang beneath a black beak that is surrounded by a fine band of black feathers. The body feathers are blue-grey with some brown in the tail.
This songbird is now believed to have become extinct in the mid-twentieth century. It once occurred widely throughout much of the island, including South Canterbury, but had disappeared from the area before European settlement. Its cousin the North Island kokako, distinguished by its solid blue wattles, is classified as endangered.
The South Island kokako spent a lot of time on the ground foraging for food as well as further up in the forest canopy. These habits would have made it an easy target for introduced predators such as stoats. In addition, nests were raided by introduced rats and brush-tailed possums.
eHive copyright disclaimer
It is the responsibility of the eHive Account Holder to gain copyright clearance for any images or content published on eHive. If you are concerned about the copyright status for any content in eHive or would like more information on using or ordering copies of content, please contact the Account Holder of that content. For further information see our Copyright Claims page.