Katie’s Encyclopedia: The Lovable Kakapo

February 28, 2012

Let’s take a moment to consider the Kakapo. This creature is something that I’ve discovered in the past few days and it blew my freekin’ mind! So why is it worth our time? Well, let me tell you…

The Kakapo is a tubby parrot native to New Zealand. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have the ability to fly. (I thought penguins were the only birds that can’t fly! D:) The habits of this parrot are amazing. It’s been deemed critically endangered. Only a little over 100 of it’s kind are alive today and I have a theory.

Evolution has been very unkind to this flightless wonder. Let me give you back story on why this bird is so unusual.The Kakapo was in a birdie heaven for a time. All it needed to do was eat, sleep, and have sex. It did these things all the time and as a result became a lazy little sex/eating machine! (say what?? Yeah. That’s all it did.) Why this bird is fascinating is that it developed no defense mechanism, no way to survive in the face of danger. It originated in a place where no predators existed and therefore no defense for survival was necessary. Nature has a habit of throwing surprises around, so one day people came to the little home of this glutton. They unintentionally brought things that like to eat butterball birdies with them. The people got hungry and started munching on the Kakapo too.

Faced with these dangers, the only thing the Kakapo knew how to do was just stand still. No pecking or scratching or trying to scare away these things. They had never been attacked before, so they just froze and hoped the thing trying to eat them would go away. It didn’t go away and so the Kakapo became a popular dinner treat.

Male Kakapo are very fond of the ladie birds….actually, they are very fond of anything. It is so in their nature to make babies that they will literally jump on anything and hope that thing would bear more little baby making machines. And so the cycle continues…The downside to this evolutionary conundrum is that  the lady Kakapo have become fewer in number than the males. The males got very sad and lonely.

Fortunately, there has been an effort to help these little guys. The Kakapo have their own special little place to live that keeps them protected from hungry little things. The hope is that they will become far more strong than how nature shaped them to be.

I just think it’s so amazing that they are completely oblivious to danger! All they want to do is kiss and cuddle other parrots. I have honestly never heard of an animal as intriguing as this one.

Post a comment below letting me know what you think of these cuddle-bugs! I’m interested in your thoughts about the Kakapo…