Kākāriki, meaning 'small green parrot' in Māori, are beautiful forest birds that were once common throughout New Zealand, but are now largely restricted to pest-free offshore and outlying islands, such as Stewart Island and Ulva Island

These colourful parrots are native to New Zealand and feed on berries, seeds, fruit and insects, and generally nest in holes in trees. It's not uncommon to see them foraging on the ground.

Red- and yellow-crowned kākāriki are the only native bird species able to be held and bred in captivity. Breeders of kākāriki require a permit from the Department of Conservation. Captive breeding has contributed to the preservation of kākāriki, and captive-reared birds have been successfully liberated on Cuvier, Tiritiri Matangi and Whale Islands.

Learn more about other birds in Southland: