Just a quick one this week as life is crazy and rattles relentlessly onwards. Since everyone loves parrots, I thought I’d  post some pictures of one of New Zealand’s many interesting species. The Red-crowned Parakeet is one of three species known also as Kakariki – literally small kaka. One of the small parrots in the Cyanoramphus radiation, the species was recently split from insular forms on New Caledonia, Norfolk Island and Antipodes Island. It still has the widest range of any of the genus, and among the widest range of habitats of any parrot, being found from the subtropical forests of the Kermadec Islands to the subantarctic forests and grasslands of the Auckland Islands. In New Zealand proper is has declined due to introduced species, but where these are controlled is can be quite common.

Red-crowned Parakeet (Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae) feeding in the grass on Soames Island

Feeding on millet in the trees after being reintroduced to Karori Wildlife Sanctuary

Feeding on New Zealand Flax on Tiritiri Matangi

Among kowhai blooms on Soames Island, by Abigail Powell. Used with permission.

Written by Duncan
Duncan Wright is a Wellington-based ornithologist working on the evolution of New Zealand's birds. He's previously poked albatrosses with sticks in Hawaii, provided target practice for gulls in California, chased monkeys up and down hills Uganda, wrestled sharks in the Bahamas and played God with grasshopper genetics in Namibia. He came into studying birds rather later in life, and could quit any time he wants to.